PETERSBURG, Va. — A Virginia school board has unanimously voted to rename three area elementary schools named after Confederate leaders.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Petersburg School Board voted Wednesday to retitle A.P. Hill, Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart elementary schools by July 1. School Board Chairman Kenneth Pritchett says the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last August strengthened support for the changes.

The newspaper reports critics declared the school can’t change history and should focus on student achievement rather than superficial name changes.

Additionally, the source of funding for the change was questioned. Donations totaling more than $20,000 will be used for the rebranding, which will change the names of A.P. Hill, Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart to Cool Spring Elementary, Lakemont Elementary and Pleasants Lane Elementary, respectively.

Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

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