Tyler ISD trustees reviewing potential costs for name changes of high schools

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tyler ISD trustees will be briefed on potential costs of changing the name of both high schools in a board meeting Monday.

Trustees requested the issue be put on the agenda, according to district spokeswoman Dawn Parnell. The issue will only be discussed and no action taken, according to board President Fritz Hager.

Hager released the following statement:

"The Trustees of Tyler ISD take seriously their responsibilities as stewards of public funds.  As part of the process of considering all information regarding concerns on both sides of the issue of school naming we will be briefed on potential costs both in conjunction with the construction of new high schools and compared to estimated costs outside of the current construction process."

Some Tyler residents have made a push to rename Robert E. Lee High School due to the racial sensitivity of it being named after the general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

During an August 2017 Tyler ISD board meeting, those in favor of changing it said the name actively honors and upholds the pro-slavery ideology that Lee's army fought for. They also said that changing the name does not erase history, because "history resides in books and documentaries."

Others argued that John Tyler High School should also be changed due to the former president's Confederate ties.

Many speakers who were for keeping the name of the high school talked about Robert E. Lee's role in the Civil War, saying he did not defend the institution of slavery but instead defended his home state of Virginia.

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