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Lee High School

Here at 165 Columbus stood one of New Haven’s public high schools. Lee High School was built in 1964, but sadly was shut down in 1985 after Yale bought the building and turned it into a school for nursing. As we already know, Yale owns an immense amount of land around New Haven; as of 2020, the combined University and Hospital property value was over $4.7 billion. With every piece of land that Yale buys, they are exempt from paying property taxes to the city of New Haven. In fact, as of 2020 nearly 60% of New Haven’s properties were exempt from being taxed, in large part due to Yale. This leads our city to struggle, and because the primary ways schools are funded is through property taxes, it means our schools are severely underfunded.

One of Lee High School’s teachers, Lula Mae White, moved to New Haven from Alabama at a young age. She attended Hillhouse High School, graduating with the class of 1956. After graduating from college in Chicago, Lula Mae White participated in Freedom Rides, riding integrated buses through the South to protest segregated terminals and public transportation, for which she was arrested many times. 

In 1968, Lula Mae White returned to New Haven and taught history at Lee High School for 28 years. Her on-going practice in “good trouble” included a week in jail during a teacher’s strike in 1975 and another arrest in 2002 during a sit-in at Yale in support of union workers. Lula Mae White was rewarded with the Thurgood Marshall Award for her dedication to activism and her community service. Lula Mae White died in New Haven on September 10, 2019.

A Peoples' History of the Hill
  1. The Hill Intro
  2. Long Wharf
  3. Directions to Jackson Newspaper Protest Site
  4. Jackson Newspaper Protest
  5. Directions to Trowbridge Square Park
  6. Trowbridge Square Park
  7. Directions to Evergreen Cemetery
  8. Evergreen Cemetery
  9. Directions to Lee High School
  10. Lee High School
  11. Directions to Oak Street Connector
  12. Oak Street Connector
  13. Directions to Temple Street Congregational Church
  14. Temple Street Congregational Church
  15. Directions to the Green (Columbus Day Protests)
  16. Columbus Day Protests
  17. UPDATE: Columbus Protest Victories
  18. Directions to the Green (Occupy Movement)
  19. Occupy Wall Street Movement
  20. Directions to the Green (CT Students for a Dream)
  21. C4D Dream Summit on the Green
  22. Directions to Amistad Memorial
  23. Amistad Memorial
  24. Directions to City Hall
  25. City Hall - Elm City Resident Card
  26. Directions to New Guinea
  27. New Guinea
  28. Directions to Superior Courthouse
  29. Superior Courthouse - Black Panther Trials
  30. Stay at the Courthouse
  31. Superior Courthouse - Support for Corey Menafee
  32. Directions Back to Trowbridge Square Park or Long Wharf
  33. End of the Hill Tour