Grand Prairie ISD to Consider Renaming Robert E. Lee Elementary

The Grand Prairie ISD will consider renaming Robert E. Lee Elementary and word about the impending decision has drawn heated opposition on the district's Facebook page."Ridiculous! Cowards! Sheep!!!," Melinda Franklin posted on the Facebook page. "That school has stood for decades and no one was ever offended by it until some liberal uneducated idiot told you to be! I am ashamed to say I live here."In a brief statement issued over the district's social media channels and its website, the district said it will accept nominations for a new name for Lee Elementary until Oct. 6. It also included name-change nomination forms in English and Spanish.The decision to change the school's name would then be addressed by the school board at a future meeting.Discussion over the yearsDistrict spokesman Sam Buchmeyer said Monday that renaming the school for someone other than the Confederate general is a topic that has been discussed in the past."Informally, the issue has come up over the years, but never at the board level," Buchmeyer said. "A lot of times it has come up when we've had new schools that we needed to name and we talked about what goes in to our naming process."Now, "in light of our national dialogue," the school's name has come up in discussions with administrators and the school board, Buchmeyer said.Dallas ISD -- which also has a Robert E. Lee Elementary -- has started its own drive to remove the names of Confederate figures from its campuses in the wake of the city of Dallas removing a statute of Lee from the newly named Oak Lawn Park.Back-and-forth debateThere were more than 350 comments about the topic on the GPISD Facebook page by Monday afternoon. Most of those were critical of the district's idea to possibly rename the elementary school."When the educators are uneducated about the Civil War, you know your children have no hope for a future! How about after renaming the school, the district superintendent and school board celebrate by burning all their school library books in the parking lot?" Matthew Brown wrote.In another post, Heather MacDonnell wrote: "If GPISD bows to this madness, I will work nonstop to make sure those voting for this waste of time and money get ousted next election cycle!!! How ridiculous!!!"A few comments on the Facebook page were supportive of the idea to rename the school."Robert E Lee was a traitor whose army marched into this nation, captured our citizens and sold them into slavery. Thats [sic] history. He doesnt [sic] deserve a place of honor," Lennon Simpson wrote.  Continue reading...

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