Trustees Mull Over Renaming Dallas ISD Schools Named After Confederates

By Annie Gimbel | CBSDFW.com

DALLAS (CBDFW.COM) – The sweeping movement to rename campuses named after Confederates is again a topic of discussion for Dallas school trustees.

While this isn’t the first time they’ve tackled the issue, recent local and national outcry over the violence in Charlottesville, Va. undoubtedly has impacted the urgency of district leaders to address it. 

“We are concerned how you answer the question for an African American child — why is a school named in honor of someone who led the fight to leave my ancestors in slavery,” said Dallas ISD Board President, Dan Micciche.

Dallas ISD now has at least four elementary campuses named after Confederates: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and John H. Reagan.

Adam Bazaldua‘s daughter is set to start kindergarten at Robert E. Lee. He believes the school district’s first lesson plan for children includes honoring a name unworthy of honor.

“We absolutely should not support this school district with those names,” he said.

Bazaldua is leading a parent coalition to force the school board to remove and replace the names of the five schools.

And he isn’t the only one advocating for change.

An online petition calling for name changes to both Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee is gaining steam.

It states concern that the 22 percent of black DISD students will find the school names “stressful” and that it’s inhumane for them to attend “a public school named in the honor of those who fought to keep their ancestors enslaved.”

Supporters will deliver it to Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa after it reaches its goal of 500 signatures.

Bazaldua will take his coalition of parents to the Dallas school board meeting next Thursday.

Whether expressed online, or in person by either parents, students — or both — Dallas ISD has a history of listening.

Jefferson Davis School was renamed Barbara Jordan School fifteen years ago after parent’s demanded a change. And in 2016, students received board approval after they campaigned to change the name of John B. Hood Middle School to Piedmont Global Academy.

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