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School name changes … more to come?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

The Austin Independent School District recently announced that it was exploring the renaming of five of its facilities that bear titles of former Confederate officers and soldiers: the John T. Allan Facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier High School, John H. Reagan High School, and Eastside Memorial High School (at the Johnston Campus). At the Nov. 13 AISD board of trustees meeting, however, Trustee Amber Elenz questioned why the district was drawing the line at military personnel, when there were many names in the district that hearkened back to a Confederate heritage and perpetuated the memory of immoral institutions of the past like slavery. Trustee Edmund Gordon clarified that, to him, what was important about the current schools being considered was the fact that many were given their names during the Jim Crow era. “(Reagan) wasn’t named back in 1901. It was named in the 1960s when it opened,” Gordon said. “I think there are some specific reasons why it was named that.” AISD staff is expected to report back to the board in January on the results of community meetings, which will be held until the end of this year.

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