TULSA, Okla. — A public school district in Oklahoma has removed a monument at an elementary school that was dedicated to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Tulsa Public Schools said the nearly century-old monument was removed and replaced with bricks on Tuesday. A district spokeswoman said “a community partner” covered the cost, and that the Tulsa Historical Society will preserve the monument.

The removal comes less than week after the school district’s board rescinded the school’s original name: Robert E. Lee Elementary School. The board is considering the new name of Lee Elementary School, but it held off officially renaming the school last week amid public outcry. The board will reconsider the issue on April 2.

The monument is now at a school district warehouse for safe-keeping. Over the next few weeks, the district will evaluate who owns the monument, but “the long-term plan is that it would come to the Tulsa Historical Society,” said Michelle Place, executive director of the historical society.

The school was dedicated and named after Lee in 1918, following a Confederate Veterans of America convention in Tulsa. The conversion came three years before the Tulsa Race Riot.

Hundreds of people petitioned to change the school’s name last year following violent protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.