Dallas ISD Vote Would Fast-track Renaming of Schools Honoring Confederates

The Dallas ISD board of trustees will vote Thursday night on whether to jump-start the process of renaming four elementary schools that honor Confederate generals.A resolution, crafted by board president Dan Micciche, will be considered by trustees during its monthly board meeting. It sets out the process for changing the names of four campuses -- Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and William L. Cabell elementary schools -- by waiving current board policy, and setting up an accelerated timeline for alterations. Under the new guidelines, the board would hear the recommended changes by the end of November and vote on their adoption in mid-December.“We are giving the community an opportunity to rally around a new name,” Micciche said Wednesday. “We believe that naming the schools in honor of Confederate generals is divisive and needs to be changed.”Principals at each campus will create a committee -- made up of administrators, teachers, and members of parent organizations -- to research and recommend the new names.And that proposed name “must not be a shortened version of the existing name,” the resolution reads.“There have been half-measures in the history of Dallas ISD,” Micciche said. “I think back to when the board proposed to desegregate by using a video-conference system in the late ‘60s and ’70s. If we feel that there’s a strong enough reason to change the name, it should be changed.”When the issue was discussed during a briefing earlier this month, there was relative unanimity from the nine-member board that change should happen, and quickly. Events such as the white nationalist marches in Charlottesville prompted a fast response, Micciche said at that time.The board’s existing policy only allows for the board to vote on name changes at the end of the school year, in June.Micciche said he didn’t expect much in the way of disagreement between trustees, especially on renaming Lee, Jackson and Johnston elementaries.Discussion around Cabell -- a three-term mayor of Dallas in the post-Reconstruction era -- could “possibly” draw debate, Micciche said, “because he does have some contributions beyond his role in the Confederacy that people might take into account.”The level of debate from the community, however, could be much greater; 36 people signed up to speak on agenda items, far more than typical.The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will be held at Conrad High School’s auditorium as DISD slowly transitions its operations to its new administration building on North Central Expressway.  Continue reading...

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