HISD: Trustees approve plan to begin process of renaming 4 Confederate-titled schools

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter , Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - The Houston Independent School District’s trustees approved a plan to begin the process of renaming four HISD schools and facilities with Confederate titles, according to HISD officials.

The discussion took place during the board’s monthly meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. HISD said the board is working to rename the schools in order to represent the values and diversity of the school district, in accordance with its non-discrimination policies.

According to HISD, the resolution will begin renaming four Houston-area schools, including Henry Grady Middle School, Richard Dowling Middle School, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson Middle School, and Lee High School.

The trustees removed Albert Sidney Johnston Middle School, Sidney Lanier Middle School, Jefferson Davis High School, and John Reagan High School from the list to allow time to first meet with the community.

“I do think community input is important,” said HISD board Member Jolanda Jones.  “If it comes back up for a vote I will vote based on what I hear.”

Officials said each campus would be required to form a school-naming committee made of diverse staff, students, parents, and school stakeholders. The committee would be charged with exploring school renaming options that adhere to board guidelines and submitting recommendations to trustees before May, according to HISD.

“Name change decisions and discussions should originate in the community and not be dictated from the board,” said board Member Mike Lunceford.

In October, the board revised the district’s policy for naming and renaming school buildings and other district facilities. HISD said the updated policy outlined a process by which school board trustees can initiate the renaming of a building.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2