RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools voted overwhelmingly in favor of adding George Wythe High School to a list of schools being considered for renaming during the first school board meeting of 2023 Monday night.
The Richmond School Board voted 6-1 on, “The intent to join George Wythe High School in the previously approved list of schools to be considered for renaming.” One school board member abstained from the vote.
Established in 1960, George Wythe High School was named after an academic and scholar, United States founding father George Wythe. Wythe also owned slaves for the majority of his lifetime, contrasting his public and private opposition to slavery, according to the College of William and Mary.
Wythe joins John B. Cary Elementary, Ginter Park Elementary, and Binford Middle in discussions on renaming. Stephanie Rizzi, board member of the 5th district, previously stated that if the public knew about the history behind the people for whom the schools were named, there would be more agreement with the decision.
“If you read about some of these people, you’d feel the same way,” she said. “They played just as much of a heinous role in the trafficking of human beings as others. The namesake of the school does set the tone for the school.”
School leaders estimate renaming the schools will cost between $25,000 and $50,000 each. These costs would cover new signage, sports uniforms and stationery.
The Monday night vote will kick off the process and public hearings to rename George Wythe.