Dallas ISD Focused on Renaming Four Schools with Confederate Ties

The names of Confederate leaders could become history on Dallas Independent School District buildings. School board members took up the issue of renaming schools Thursday afternoon.

There was some back and forth on how many schools should be re-named, because the board said they've identified 21 schools with some sort of Confederate tie. To start small, trustees are focusing on the highest ranking Confederate officials.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa identified four schools as priorities — three named after generals, one after a brigadier general.

They are William L. Cabell, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston.

Several parents spoke in support of the name changes during a public comment session Thursday, and no one at the meeting spoke out against them.

"I support a name change for Stonewall Jackson Elementary — not to erase history, but because of the history. A public school should have never been named for a Confederate general, and I believe it's past time to right that wrong," said Sarah Nicholson, whose kids attend Stonewall.

"It's is especially concerning to my husband and myself, because we are raising a strong young African-American 14-year-old son and want him to live in a world where his heroes are people who fought on the right side of history," said Deborah Stewart, another Dallas ISD parent.

Trustee Joyce Foreman said it's an emotional issue she wants resolved quickly.

"I came through a segregated school system, so it's clearly personal to me," said Foreman, who represents Dallas ISD District 6.

The board seemed to agree with starting with the four schools recommended. Trustees are still deciding how to streamline the process.

"I think the board, in essence, is pretty much together on this. Just, do we waive the current policy or not, and I want an expedient timeline. I'm looking at about two months," Foreman said.

The school board meets next in two weeks. Trustees could decide then whether to waive normal name change policy. Either way, they say they still want the community to weigh in on possible replacements.

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