MPS Officially Changes Names of Robert E. Lee, Jeff Davis High Schools

Two Montgomery schools named after Confederate figures and slave owners have been renamed.

The Montgomery Board of Education voted for the name changes at Thursday night’s meeting.

Robert E. Lee will henceforth be known as Dr. Percy L. Julian High School. Julian was a Montgomery-born Black chemist and pioneer in medicine.

Jefferson Davis will be named JAG in honor of Judge Frank Johnson Jr, Ralph Abernathy, and Rev. Robert Graetz. Johnson was a constitutional lawyer and federal judge. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Robert Graetz are two titans of the civil rights movement. The name “JAG” comes from the first letter of each honoree’s last name.

All four men have strong ties to Montgomery through their good works and achievements.

Efforts to rename the schools began in the summer of 2020 during the nationwide protests that arose after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Lanier High School had originally been scheduled to be renamed, but the school board voted early this year to close that school as part of its capital improvement plan.

The board did not say when the name changes will happen.

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