TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Students, alumni, and community members gathered to share their thoughts on postcards Thursday in a peaceful protest that called for a name change of Robert E. Lee high school.
On May 18, several members of the Tyler ISD School Board announced the end to a discussion about possibly changing the name. Just days later, on May 21, several community leaders and residents said they are not finished talking about the issue.
Organizers of a grassroots, parent-led coalition have arranged a "Peaceful Postcard Party," outside of the Tyler Independent School District Administration building. Supporters were invited to write a postcard to Board of Trustee members, expressing why they continue to push for a school name change.
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"As we've said so many times before, the name has been divisive," said Darryl Bowdre, former Tyler city councilman. "It's a lightning rod for discrimination, intimidation, and it's taking place in this town, and it's still taking place in this town."
Bowdre added, "A better name will make a better Tyler."
Organizers are hopeful the continuous show of support will reveal their effort is still strong and isn't giving up.
"We're writing peaceful postcards... to show them we do care, this is a matter that's important to students, and that this wasn't a one-time thing," said Caroline Crawford, a supporter of the name change. "We're committed to making this happen."
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Even with the event carefully planned, organizers said they were surprised to see such a large turnout.
"It's super exciting to see how many people in our community really do, and want this to happen," Crawford said. "It isn't a small, localized issue like I was expecting."
"I'm elated," Bowdre said. "It proves our point. The time is right for this change; that more people are getting on board and people are thinking seriously about the power of a name."
One person is going to deliver all of the cards to the administration building for the Board of Trustees to read.
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