AUSTIN, Texas – An Austin elementary school will be renamed for an acclaimed Depression-era photographer after the school board decided it should no longer carry the name of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The school board for the Austin Independent School District voted 8-1 on Monday to change the name to Russell Lee Elementary. Lee lived in the neighborhood and was the founding professor of the University of Texas photography department.
The district said it received about 240 submissions when it asked the public for suggestions on changing the name of the school.
The campus advisory council named three finalists. Along with Russell Lee, the other finalist names were Bettie Mann, the school's first African-American teacher, and Wheeler's Grove, a nearby park where African-Americans once gathered to celebrate the emancipation of slaves.