NEISD board votes to drop name of Lee High School

Nearby stood a disappointed Benjamin White, who graduated from the high school in June and had started the petition against changing the name. The board’s decision left him feeling robbed, he said. It was unfair to focus on one part of historical figures’ history and “negate everything positive that they did,” White said.

NEISD board votes to drop name of Lee High School

We Say: Political correctness has gone crazy.

A school board in San Antonio, TX joins the rest of the nation’s crazies and bows to out-of-control political correctness.

If removing symbols of our Civil War history is politically correct, would it not be as politically correct to begin removing symbols of our Spanish/Mexican history?


Republished from MySanAntonio.com, by Lauren Caruba, August 30, 2017. Image credit: screenshot not covered by licence. Contributor: Don Kirchoff.


North East Independent School District trustees — prodded by a fervent national debate over memorializing the Confederacy that some said had become a distraction for students — voted 7-0 Tuesday to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

Administrators will submit a plan at a future board meeting for a process to rename the school, which trustees indicated would not occur until at least the start of the 2018-19 school year.

Several board members said the decision was a difficult one that had followed an outpouring of messages and calls to the board, some of them vitriolic.

The crowd — which had entered through metal detectors and were watched by several police officers — responded with applause and some expressions of dismay at the decision.

It was the second time in two years that the board had considered the issue. Those who wanted to keep the name as a source of tradition and pride, and those who considered it an outdated tribute to a racist past, had fueled hours of public comment at multiple meetings over several months before trustees voted 5-2 to keep the name in 2015.

It quieted debate — for a time. But the violence stemming from a white supremacist rally in support of a statue of the Confederate general in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month once again divided Lee alumni and other members of the community. More than 3,600 people signed a petition to change the name, while nearly 6,000 signed another against such a move.

Even those who had previously voted against changing the school’s name — and still appeared reluctant about doing so — acknowledged that student safety needed to take priority over what had become a divisive debate for the Lee High community.

Board president Shannon Grona, who voted against the name change in 2015, said she felt compelled to “take the target off our backs.”

“It is so frustrating to me that things that aren’t even happening in North East (ISD) or San Antonio or even Texas are once again causing us to discuss the name of Lee High School,” Grona said.

A group of elated students gathered outside the administrative building after the vote, where some hugged and posed for photos. Kenny Strawn, president of the school’s Young Democrats club, said he had been confident the name would be changed but was surprised by the board’s speed.

“The change is to protect the students as well as harbor a greater learning environment,” the senior said.

Nearby stood a disappointed Benjamin White, who graduated from the high school in June and had started the petition against changing the name. The board’s decision left him feeling robbed, he said. It was unfair to focus on one part of historical figures’ history and “negate everything positive that they did,” White said.

“I took pride in where I went and the name of my campus,” he said.

The NEISD vote came in advance of a city council vote, scheduled for later this week, on the fate of a statue memorializing Confederate soldiers in Travis Park.

lcaruba@express-news.net


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