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Education News

Houston School Board To Consider Renaming More Schools With Confederate Names

Some argue that Lanier is a name worth keeping.


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Houston’s Sidney Lanier Middle School

It's good bye to Lee High School and also Henry Grady, Richard Dowling and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson middle schools. They all have to find new names after the Houston school board passed a resolution last month.

“I think it was the right thing to do and I think the majority of the board members agreed with that and I'm elated that we passed that item,” said Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones. She has pushed for HISD to abandon names of Confederate figures and find ones that better reflect the diversity of Houston's students.

More schools could join that group, as the Houston Independent School District will consider renaming more schools with ties to Confederate leaders at its meeting Thursday. Those are Johnston and Lanier middle schools and also Jefferson Davis High.

Those campuses were on the original list, but were pulled to have more community meetings first. Reagan High School also was on the list, but hasn't had its forum yet and could reach a board vote later.

“Well, it certainly is a complicated thing,” said Trustee Harvin Moore. “I mean, you certainly have some schools here that are named after Confederate leaders, and you have some schools that were named after people who were conscripted into the army, for example Sidney Lanier.”

Some argue that Lanier is a name worth keeping. The Confederate soldier became a Union prisoner of war. After the war ended, he became a poet, musician and educator.

If Houston decides to abandon Lanier and the other names, each campus will have to form a committee with students, staff and parents. Together they have to come up with alternatives and submit options to trustees by May.

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