×  Home Map Login About

Layer Gallery


Lee Elementary School (East Wenatchee Bench, Washington)


The Robert E. Lee Elementary School in East Wenatchee, Washington, was so named because, as the district already had a Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School, the school board felt it was only fair to acknowledge those who had migrated from the South, and in remembrance of the Missouri Compromise. When it came time to erect a new school in 1955, the name Robert E. Lee was put forward. In the wake of the Charleston shooting in June of 2015, some community members began to call for the school to be renamed. Initially, the board decided to keep the name, believing it was a valuable history lesson. However by August, the issue had risen again. A contentious debate followed, with many arguing that the school's name made racism permissible within the community, while others countered that there were more concrete and direct ways of combatting racism that should be tackled instead. Ultimately, it was unanimously voted that the school's name would be changed simply to "Lee Elementary," and while many in the community still pushed for the name to be scrapped altogether, it has remained Lee Elementary to this day. The school still stands as it was originally constructed in 1955, a single story brick building with low eaves and blue exposed beam roof.

Collection Objects