Gainesville ISD discusses changing name of Robert E. Lee Intermediate School

Updated: Jun. 16, 2020 at 9:24 PM CDT
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) - The Gainesville Independent School board of trustees discussed changing the name of one of their intermediate schools during a board meeting Monday night.

“Here in the last few weeks, I have been contacted by several community members and people outside of the community about one of our schools in particular, and that’s Robert E. Lee,” Gainesville Superintendent Dr. DesMontes Stewart said.

Robert E. Lee Intermediate School was named after the well known Confederate General, and has held the name since the 1920s.

“I get it," Dr. Stewart said. "There’s a long, rich tradition and lots of individuals who have graced those hallways.”

Across the country, protests and marches to take down confederate monuments have sparked conversations in local communities.

“No decisions were made. We didn’t come in with the changes of the school name as an action item. It was merely a conversation that will be continued here into the next few months or so.” Dr. Stewart said.

Dr. Stewart said it’s something he has been working on since last year.

“This is not going to be a decision that’s made by myself, or by the board of trustees,” said Dr. Stewart.

He said he wants the decision on whether or not they change the school name to be made from both the school board, and the community.

“Let’s go ahead and tear the band-aid off," said Dr. Stewart. "Let’s go ahead and begin to have that conversation about what this means to our community, but also (about) how does this tie into where we want to go as a school system.”

The board has not scheduled a vote, but said they will continue to discuss the topic.

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