Dallas Schools to Face Discussion on Confederate Names

The controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and memorials continues around the country, and now some Dallas Independent School District schools will join the debate.

"I have asked the board president to put it on the agenda for next month's meeting so we can talk about how we can go about changing names," said Dallas ISD trustee Lew Blackburn.

Several schools could possibly be in line for a name change.

"We have at least four or five that are named for Confederate soldiers, but I've also had some people talk to me about schools that may be named after a former slave owner. So, the number may expand," Blackburn added.

It's an idea that concerns some.

"I would rather retain it as a school as it was properly named, even though he was Robert E. Lee," Mike Scott said outside Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Blackburn said the process to change names can start in a number of ways.

"It can come from community members or it can come from board members," Blackburn said. "I prefer but it comes from the community."

Blackburn actually started his teaching career at another of Dallas' schools named for a Confederate figure – Albert S. Johnston Elementary School.

"Really, I didn't even pay attention to the name of the school and the meaning behind the name of the school or the person it was named for," he said.

Blackburn said a board meeting on Sept. 14 is just beginning of process of looking at possible change.

"I don't look at us making a change next month. I am looking at starting the discussion next month and maybe January, February or March before we actually decide if we will change and what that change may be," Blackburn said.

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