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Austin ISD schools honoring Confederate figures will find out new names this semester

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by Claire McInerny, KUT

Five Austin Independent School District schools named for Confederate figures will get renamed this semester.

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted in February to rename the John T. Allan facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier Early College High School, John H. Reagan Early College High School and Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Johnston Campus (named for Albert Sidney Johnston).

After that vote, the district accepted name suggestions from the public and created naming committees at each school. The committees are made up of teachers, students and community members.

“We’ve asked (the committees) to submit their top three choices,” Brian Hill, special assistant to the superintendent for AISD, said, “and then also provide a rationale for why they think that those names should be considered for their campus.”

The district’s naming task force established detailed criteria that each committee is using while considering names. Some of the criteria for namesakes include: advocating for social justice, fighting against social injustice and racism, redefining the status quo for the better, serving the diverse school community by putting the good of the community above individual interests, and being a historical figure.

The committees are reviewing public suggestions and will submit recommendations to the school board. Hill said the district hopes the board will vote on the final name for each building at its October meeting. New names will go into effect in the 2019-20 school year.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photo by Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT.

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