Posted on September 5, 2018

Austin ISD to Rename 5 Campuses Named After Confederate Veterans

KTXS-TV, n.d.

Austin Independent School District will rename five campuses that are currently named after individuals who served in the confederate army.

The school board voted 7-2 to move forward with the name changes for 2019. {snip}

The campuses that will be renamed include Regan High School, Lanier High School, Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus, Fulmore Middle School and John T. Allan facility. Renaming the schools is something the district has been going back and forth about for several years.


Austin ISD graduates like Charlsa Bentley argued changing campus names would strain alumni engagement.


The $300,000 price tag was also a concern — especially as students continue walking out of class over the threat of school shootings.

“Perhaps this money could be set aside for school safety and you could get your children back in the classroom where they belong,” said Terry Ayers.

“When we bring up issues around budgets, it’s a proxy not to talk about racism,” said Kazique Prince of the East Austin Coalition for Quality Education. EACQE brought the school board a petition signed by more than 300 community members supporting the renaming. The group says they’re less concerned about the money and more concerned about the message the board’s decision sends to students.

“I’m concerned about my black son and my black daughter who have to deal with these issues around racism on a daily basis,” said Prince.


Before the vote, some school board members chose to explain why they were choosing to vote for or against the name change. School board member Yasmin Wagner said for her the argument wasn’t about the individuals whose names are on the schools but about the segregated civil rights era in which those names were chosen and why they were chosen.

Board member Ann Teich {snip} argued that Stephen F. Austin and James Bowie High Schools should be renamed since both of them either owned slaves or were state leaders that did nothing to stop slave trade in Texas.

Many other community members expressed concern to the school board that the district had much bigger issues to tackle than school names — including lack of affordable housing, drops in enrollment leading to school closures and dilapidated facilities.