Increased push for renaming schools named after Confederate leaders

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Not only are people calling for Confederate monuments to be taken down, but calls to rename the schools named after Confederate leaders are growing as well.

Marche Johnson is one of several former and current students pushing to have the name of Robert E. Lee removed from one school.

“For a student to walk around and constantly have a reminder that terrorizes them on someone who kept their knee on their neck,” Johnson said. 

About a dozen people met Tuesday on the Capitol steps to call on Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers to repeal the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

“We resent these statutes and they need to be taken down now,” said Johnny Ford.

That law protects historical monuments, including the ones people are demanding to come down. Following the rally at the Capitol, the group placed a small statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the pedestal where Lee stood.

As for now, Attorney General Steve Marshall says he will enforce the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act until the legislature decides to change it.

“I think that is up to the legislature, to the extent that they want to have greater enforcement authority other than a fine, then it is their duty to act,” AG Marshall said.

At the end of the demonstration, protesters made a symbolic citizens’ arrest of Gov. Ivey, citing her for not expanding Medicaid and supporting Confederate monuments.


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