CMS Considering Removing Confederate’s Name From Vance High School

The Latest (10/13/20):

Leaders of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools want to rid a high school of a Confederate general’s name and replace it with the name of a pioneering civil rights attorney.

That school is reported to be Zebulon B. Vance High School, according to officials.

School officials said that Superintendent Earnest Winston will recommend to the school board that the school be renamed in honor of attorney Julius Chambers.

Chambers is best known as the lawyer who argued a landmark school desegregation case. It had mandated countywide busing to integrate the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. He was also a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality in the 1960s and beyond.

The renaming could be approved by the board at its planned meeting Tuesday night. District officials said it would be the first time a CMS school has gone through such a renaming process.

School board leaders said they would begin researching and renaming schools that were named after Confederate figures in the wake of protests of over the killing of George Floyd over the summer. He was a Black man who died police custody in Minneapolis.

Original Story (6/23/20):

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board is taking the first step to officially rename Vance High School. The move comes after calls for change following weeks of rallies and protests surrounding racial inequality.

For more than two decades, the school in University City has been named after the former North Carolina governor, U.S. senator and confederate officer, Zebulon Vance. He also owned slaves and spoke out against anti-discrimination laws and protections for minorities.

“His is not the example that we want to project for our students, families, and staff,” says CMS Superintendent Ernest Winston. “District staff will move forward with a full review of all school names.”

Winston announced at Tuesday night’s meeting that district staff will be reviewing the names of all schools. Next month they’ll present specific examples of school district actions that are aimed at creating a more equitable outcome for students.