Tyler ISD board member requests agenda item to consider name change for Robert E. Lee High School

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The vice president of the Tyler Independent School District Board of Trustees is asking for an agenda item to consider changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

The amendment will call for renaming the school to Lee High School. The request was filed by Vice President Wade Washmon.

Board President Rev. Fritz Hager Jr. released a statement on the issue Wednesday.

"Today Tyler ISD Board Vice President Wade Washmon submitted a request for an agenda item to consider amending the name of Robert E Lee HS to Lee HS.  We discussed the possibility of a broader agenda item that would allow other alternatives to be considered but Wade felt this specific course was the best compromise, had the greatest likelihood of support from other board members and would help resolve the conflict in our community over the issue," the statement reads.

District policy allows a board president to either accept or delay an agenda request.

"I accepted his request and also added an agenda item to discuss the issue of conversion costs to include the identification of the least costly conversion plan, should the board decide to change the name," Hager Jr. said.

He also said he hoped for a peaceful resolution to the issue.


"We both agree that the school board has more important issues to tackle and hope that this issue can be peacefully resolved as we work together to continue to improve school safety, increase achievement for all students, and complete the renovation of our high schools on time and under budget," he said.

The subject of school names in the district has been a contentious issue for the past year.

Recently, organizers of a grassroots, parent-led coalition held a peaceful postcard party to push for renaming the school. And in May the district reviewed how much it would cost to change the names of both Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High schools.

Proponents of the name change argue that the current names have strong ties to the Confederacy.

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