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Robert E. Lee

Recently, my home town decided they wanted to change the name of one of our elementary schools. It held the name of a great general of the civil war on the sign out front of the school, Robert E. Lee. They wrote in the local newspaper that some of the students, who attended the school, felt they would not succeed because of the controversy sailing around the subject.
First of all, there is no word in the English dictionary that could accurately describes how disgruntled I was about that statement. As a parent of an elementary student, I wholeheartedly believe that behavior should not be tolerated, much less, supported. To allow our young students to believe they will fall behind because of a name, would be failing them as parents and educators. I strongly trust a name does not make us who we are. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that it will be her dedication and attitude that will drive her success. I, under no circumstances, want her to conclude that a name, outside of a school, will be the determining factor of the amount of success she will achieve. I encourage parents and educators to strive in teaching our youth to rise above obstacles and excel in all aspects of their lives. Persuade them that they can accomplish anything their hearts desire and never allow themselves to doubt their ability to do so.
It is entirely possible that the school was not named after a general of the Confederacy. Robert E. Lee held many accomplishments. He fought for the American army in the Mexican-American war with diligence and honor. His bravery could not be matched and methods were flawless. His drive and determination gained him many victories, but the one thing that set him apart from most men was how he accepted defeat with patience and respect. He was a doting father and a loving husband. He carried several admiring traits such as courage, motivation, and fairness. He showed compassion, loyalty, and was courteous to all regardless of status or color. His son write’s of an “intense love and respect” for everyone who shook his hand.
Robert E. Lee spent time as an esteemed educator, as well. With a history in engineering, Washington College invited him to hold the role as President on the school board. After the war, the college was in ruin. General Lee was “the driving force” behind the thrive and success the college has produced there after. This fact encourages me to believe naming a school after him would be highly appropriate. To change the name of anything simply because of one title that person held in their life is simply outrageous. Seems like some are trying to erase the Civil War from history, but the fact is several of those men accomplished many other great achievements. To erase them, we would be erasing much more than just the Civil War. It is imperative that we, as citizens of this great nation, fight to preserve the knowledge and experience this country has endured.

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