Dallas school district votes to rename 4 elementary schools that had Confederate ties

A Dallas school district unanimously voted Wednesday to rename four elementary schools that had been named to honor Confederate leaders.

Board members at the Dallas Independent School District voted 9-0 to allow the Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, William L. Cabell and Albert Sidney Johnston schools to change their names, FOX4 News reported.

The name changes will occur during summer 2018.

“History is not going anywhere. History is in the history books,” Seth Laughlin, the father of two students at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, told WFFA.

One of the schools, Cabell Elementary School in North Dallas, had a less clear-cut case for renaming, as the school was named after a Confederate leader who was also a 3-term major for the city.

According to FOX4, Cabell’s contributions to the city weighed against his ties to the Confederacy stirred some debate at Thursday’s meeting, but not as much as that of Stonewell Jackson.

Some parents at the elementary school suggested shortening the name to just “Stonewall” but, by a 5-4 margin, board members said all schools would need to have an original name.

“We didn’t pick the name. We’ve done the best we can with the name we’ve been given,” Brandon Lee, a parent of a student at Stonewall Jackson, told WFFA. “I don’t think it’s hypocritical to say we want the name changed, but we’ll also be a little sad when a new name goes up out front.”

Each school is required to create a renaming committee and present a new name to the school board by Nov. 10. A vote to approve the new name will be Dec. 14.

The name changes will cost an estimated $150,000, which will cover facades and gymnasiums.

Parents, community and school leaders began discussing potential name changes in the wake of the fatal violence in Charlottesville in August, when a woman protesting white supremacists was rammed by a car and killed.