Gainesville ISD unanimously votes to rename Robert E. Lee Intermediate

Another big change for Gainesville, Texas
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) - Days after the council voted to replace a Confederate monument in a city park, GISD board voted Monday evening to change the name of one of their schools, named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The unanimous vote comes after several meetings and discussions, where many were allowed to voice their opinions and concerns.

Many in town told News 12 they’re excited about the progressive changes, but others feel like the town is trying to erase history.

“I’m excited, I think it’s cool to see change, and us evolve like we need to” said Jessy Sampson.

“History. That’s who Robert E Lee is. History,” said Cindi Hudgeons.

“Different people have different views on Robert E Lee,” said Gainesville Superintendent Dr. DesMontes Stewart. “That’s really what fueled the argument, “do we change the name or not.”

“That’s why we developed a process, and allowed the process to run it’s course, which ultimately resulted in the board voting to change the name to Gainesville Intermediate School” said Dr. Stewart.

Gainesville Intermediate School will be the campus’ new name, beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

It’s something Dr. Stewart says started last summer.

“Change isn’t easy for anybody, but that’s why I felt like it was really important to involve as many people as could” said Dr. Stewart.

Robert E Lee has named the campus since the 1920s, and some, like Cindi Hudgeons, don’t want to see it change.

“History is history, I mean it’s already done. I think let’s move on and remember where we are and where we’re going. That’s kind of how I feel about it,” Hudgeons said.

For others, they like that the new name blends in with the surrounding schools; Gainesville High School, Jr High, and now Gainesville Intermediate.

It’s something mom Jessy Sampson says is important to her.

“(I) Want to keep them together as much as possible, and it means a lot to have them grow up together as siblings, and have a good relationship with each other,” said Sampson.

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