Robert E. Lee name change discussion added to Monday's TISD board agenda

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - For the past year, Tyler residents have gone head-to-head about a potential name change for Robert E. Lee High School.

Today the vice president of the Tyler ISD school board has requested an agenda item to consider changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School to Lee High School.

"It's not a name I want for my school," REL senior Taniyah Jones said.

Founded in 1958, Robert E Lee High School has some alumni who have said they feel a connection to the name of the school, but recently, some residents have been trying to change that name.

"A few kids are for it, but I think a lot of them are misinformed about what Robert E. Lee did and what he actually stood for," REL senior Brandon Collins said.

After much controversy, Tyler ISD board vice-president Wade Washmon submitted a request to consider amending the name of Robert E. Lee High School to Lee High School.

School board president Fritz Hager Jr. accepting that request saying, "We both agree that the school board has more important issues to tackle."

"I think it's amazing. I think it's a step in the right direction," Jones said. "It may not be a definite change, but there's no reason to be radical about this."

One REL graduate says changing the name will result in people forgetting the history behind the name Robert E. Lee.

"Because all this is, is changing the name, is erasing history," graduate Richard Oakes said. "That's all its been with any statues, with any schools, with anything, it's just erasing history."

But Jones says changing the name is a great compromise because the name can still represent Robert E. Lee if that who you so choose.

"Lee can stand for anybody," Jones said. "It can stand for Dorothy Lee who we know was an activist in East Texas, it can stand for Bruce Lee if you really want it to."

But Oakes says changing the name to Lee High School is not good enough. He says in order to teach kids right from wrong, the name must stay.

"Just keep the name, but educate your students better on the situations that happened during in the Civil War," Oakes said.

The item has been added to the agenda for the next Tyler ISD board meeting, which will be held on Monday.

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.