Dallas School Board Approves New Names for Three Schools Currently Named After Confederate Generals

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to approve three new names for elementary schools named after Confederate generals.

Starting with the new school year, Robert E. Lee Elementary will be known as Geneva Heights Elementary; Stonewall Jackson Elementary's new name will be Mockingbird Elementary School and William L. Cabell Elementary becomes Chapel Hill Preparatory.

The names of Lee and Jackson are well known across the country. William Cabell was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army and later served as mayor of Dallas.

A fourth school, Albert Sidney Johnston, is expected to choose a new name for itself by February after the board voted to change the name in September.

Johnston was a general who served in the Texian Army, the United States Army and the Confederacy, and he was the highest-ranking officer killed on either side during the Civil War.

The approved name changes come after months of debate over whether it was appropriate to have schools named after Confederate figures. The board narrowed the list of schools to four and tasked each school with working with a committee of parents, teachers and staff to make recommendations for new names.

The total cost to change the names of the four schools is estimated at $150,000, according to district estimates. That amount would have to cover the cost of changing signs, murals and other markings on campuses.

Scott Tinsley, a parent with two kids at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, said it seemed like a waste of resources.

"I don't want to see it change. I think it's kind of pointless. It's a waste of taxpayer money," Tinsley said.

At Thursday night's meeting, Trustee Miguel Solis said it was important for the district to move down the path of acknowledging the history.

"Also a path for remediation and for real conversations about equity and equality and how to move our city forward," Solis said.

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