Former Dallas ISD Trustee Who Fought Confederate School Names Backs Monuments

Differing views on whether Confederate monuments should remain

There are strong opinions in the emotional debate over Confederate monuments, and some people with reason to find them offensive do not want them destroyed.

Ron Price, former Dallas Independent School District trustee, fought to remove Confederate names from two schools.

One of them was Jefferson Davis Elementary School, named for the Confederate president. In 1999, the Oak Cliff school was renamed for Barbara Jordan, a civil rights leader and congresswoman.

"It's unfair to have students, especially all African American students, going to a school named after an individual who tried to keep their great-great grandparents as slaves," Price said.

But Price does not support removing the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Uptown or the Confederate monument downtown in Pioneer Cemetery.

"I think we should either retain the monuments where they are or put the monuments in a museum," Price said. "No one should tear down history. That's part of our history. Good or bad or ugly, that's part of United States history, and it's important for generations that follow us to remember the history that got us to the point where we are today."

As Price visited the Lee Park Thursday, other visitors were taking pictures of the statue.

"Tearing down a statue is not going to solve any problems," said visitor Charles Foy. "It's just going to make a bunch of people angry. We can't change history by pulling down a statue."

Park and Recreation Board member Yolanda Williams also stopped to view the Lee statue Thursday.

She said she had paid little attention to it over the years but came to see it after the monument issue was mentioned at the park board meeting Thursday.

"If you just tear down this monument that means something to those people, then you're going to create a big division," Williams said. "Once you tear that down, there's going to be a domino effect. They'll go to a Martin Luther King statue, Malcolm X. So it needs to be a plan in place."

Williams said her family had taught her the history behind the Confederate monuments so that she understands the background and how they came to be in Dallas.

She agreed with Price's position that the monuments should be placed in a museum or remain where they are.

"The statue never harmed anyone, but it does represent something," Price said.

Price and Williams agreed some additional display about history could put the monuments in a different context where they stand now.

A Dallas rally is planned Saturday by organizations that want the monuments removed. The Dallas mayor proposes a 90-day task for study on how best to handle the situation.

Contact Us