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Richmond renaming school after Obama, scrapping Confederate general's name

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond Public School board voted Monday night to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart Elementary to Barack Obama Elementary School, reports the CBS affiliate there, WTVR-TV. The new name was chosen from a total of seven finalists. The vote was six-to-one.

The board voted 8-1 earlier this year to rename the school. J.E.B. Stuart was a Confederate general.

Students, parents, staff, and community members all submitted ideas for the school's new name.

About 95 percent of the school's student body is African-American. Many of the new school name options represented influential African-American civil rights leaders including Barbara Johns, Oliver Hill, and Henry Marsh.

The top three finalist names on Monday night were Barack Obama, Northside, and Wishtree.

Mr. Obama became the country's first African-American president after he was elected in 2008.

Stuart Elementary is the only school in Richmond named after a Confederate general. Richmond was the Capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

This won't be the first school to be named after Mr. Obama, but it appears to be the first school renamed from a Confederate general to that of the 44th president.

Earlier this year, the City of Petersburg voted to rename three Confederate-named schools.

Effective July 1, 2018, A.P. Hill will be renamed Cool Spring Elementary; Robert E. Lee will be renamed Lakemont Elementary; and J.E.B. Stuart will be renamed Pleasants Lane Elementary.

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