Robert E. Lee Junior High in Monroe will soon have a new name. That announcement was made on Tuesday, June 23 after a meeting of the school board.

The pending name change comes after a petition was started by a group of local citizens who took offense by the school's current name.

"The name represents a time of bigotry, of hatred, and oppression," said Jesse Smith, NAACP Ouachita Chapter Member.

Colonel Robert E. Lee was an American Confederate general best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.

At the time, petition creator Leah Blackmon said, "With white supremacist violence using confederate monuments, confederate history. I think it's time to leave those things in the past."

The group took the petition to the school board in hopes of change.

Now, Ouachita Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Don Coker has released the process that will be used to rename the school.

A committee will be formed to come up with a new name. It will include students, teachers, parents, and appointees from school board members.

The committee will be a part of two community meetings where the public can offer their input. The hope is to have the name change done by the first day of school on August 13th.

According to the Monroe City Schools Policy Manual, no school can be named after a living person.

It is expected that the name change will cost $100,000.