With so much going on this week revolving around racial tension across the nation, residents of the Tyler community - and seemingly many others - are vying for the Tyler Independent School District to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

But even though residents are pushing for the name change, there are many who are voicing their concern.  Robert E. Lee graduate Angela Mueller also created a petition to keep the name where she said in a statement:

Robert E. Lee is part of American history, which cannot be changed and there is no need to change the name of a high school, I believe the citizens of Tyler have other issues to focus on other than the name of a high school.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the topic of discussion will come up at the TISD board of trustees meeting on Monday and as of 5 pm on Thursday, a petition on change.org had more than 1,000 signatures to support the cause.

Dawn Parnell TISD Communication Director said the following:

The board sets agenda items, and the issue is not on Monday’s agenda. However, the public is welcome to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting and anyone wishing to speak should sign up at least 10 minutes before the meeting starts.

 

Tyler Board of Trustees President Fritz Hager said the following:

The board of Tyler ISD has clearly stated that positive student outcomes are our top priority. Under the leadership of Dr. (Marty) Crawford, this approach has dropped the number of Improvement Required schools from 11 to 2, raised STAAR scores, and passed the largest bond in the history of our district. Tyler ISD strives to educate all students, regardless of race, creed or gender and condemns racism and prejudice in our schools. It has been our hope and prayer that Tyler ISD could maintain our focus on student achievement and not be drawn into the national debates that have often proven to be a distraction, at best, or divisive and dangerous, at worst. We care deeply about the safety of our students and employees and will strive to protect them and maintain our focus as our community wrestles with these issues. Our board has not discussed the issue of renaming any of our schools and when, or if, we do, it will be done publicly and in accordance with Texas Open Meeting requirements.

If you want to attend the Tyler ISD board of trustees meeting it will be held on Monday August 21 at 7 p.m., at The Davis Conference Room at the Jim Plyler Instructional Complex located at 807 W. Glenwood Blvd.