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Stetson Kennedy's Widow Calls For Lee H.S. Name Change

Sydney Boles
Robert E. Lee High School is named after the commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

A protest in support of changing the names of nine Duval County Public Schools is planned for Tuesday afternoon at 5 at the district’s administrative building on Prudential Drive on the Southbank.   

The names of most of the schools in question are associated with the Confederacy.

A local figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Stetson Kennedy, attended Robert E. Lee High school in Jacksonville.  His widow, Sandra Parks, called in to First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Monday morning.

“Stetson would be horrified. He’s been gone ten years now. He would be horrified to know that 70% of the students at that school are African American.  So our family has discussed this and we urge the school board to change the name,” said Parks.

Parks suggested Lee High School be renamed for Jacksonville native Alton Yates, an aerospace test pilot and survivor of Ax Handle Saturday.  The Duval County School Board, however, has said the district’s policy going forward is to not rename schools for specific people.

More about the movement to rename nine Jacksonville schools can be heard on Monday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

Michelle Corum can be reached at, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.