Name changes of Dallas ISD schools named for Confederates debated

There have been rumblings about name changes for several Dallas ISD schools named for Confederates for some time -- but the violence involving white supremacists in Virginia has brought it to the front and center once again. 

Dallas ISD school board member Miguel Solis tweeted Sunday night, "It's past time to change the name of all confederate schools in Dallas. Looking for leaders to join me in making the change."

Solis said he’s not looking to debate about Confederate monuments.

“That's a separate topic and a separate debate,” Solis said. “What I am debating is whether it's ok in an educational institution.”

Solis pointed to Piedmont Global Academy -- formerly known as John B. Hood Middle School, who was a Confederate general. Last year a teacher took issue with the name and its ties to slavery. Students were taught the history, then voted for a name change.

Some parents at Robert E. Lee Elementary wonder where the line in time will be drawn -- pointing out the founding fathers were slave owners.

“It's a terrible part of our history but renaming something doesn't necessarily change what it is. History has to be told,” parent Mike Alton said.

Those parents question if a student vote is the way to go.

“If it's putting it to a vote, it's the school district in general, it's the neighborhoods in general, it's the people who've gone here in the past. It's their chance,” Alton said. “Children, I just don't think they’re at the right point in life.”

Others claim schools like Stonewall Jackson Elementary and Robert E. Lee may have names with Confederate roots, but bridge the racial divide in the classroom.

Talks amongst parents should take place this week.

Robert E. Lee parent Mike Koprowski said in a statement, "We are currently having conversations about what's best for our community and school. The goal is to have an open and honest dialogue."

DISD board member Dustin Marshall, whose district has both Stonewall and Lee, did not respond for requests for comment.

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