TISD votes ‘yes’ to change names of both Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High Schools

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UPDATE – The Tyler ISD board has voted unanimously to change the name of Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High Schools.

Part of the name change discussion includes the cost to rebrand all school equipment seen and used by students. The board said that the cost to replace sports uniforms and band uniforms was already allocated in the budget but awaits approval at a future meeting. Along with sports, the fine arts department mentioned how there is also an expense to replace trailer wraps, banners, and other equipment.

When it comes to facilities, the cost to replace branding would include gym floors, school signs, and the brick engravement above both high schools.

Approximated cost:

  • Fine Arts – Approximately $130,000
  • Athletics – Approximately $35/uniform
  • Facilities – Approximately $130,000

“This has been a trying time to be a Board member to say the least,” Board President Wade Washmon said. “But I do believe the Board has made a decision that will remove a growing obstacle to our focus on successful student outcomes and has removed an issue that will only serve to be divisive for the community and future boards. We look forward to turning our focus back to successful student outcomes.”

“As always, I appreciate the Board’s work,” Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “Public service is sometimes a thankless commitment that is under-appreciated for the time given in place of personal business and family time. Concerning this issue, the Board was acutely sensitive to comments and commentary and realizes the significance of their decision.”

Now with the decision to change the names, Tyler ISD will consider implementing a new policy revising the current naming process

Renaming Guidelines

  • A school facility may be named after any patriotic belief, principled ideals, values, desired qualities or aspired outcomes for District students or the community
  • A facility may be named after any local, state, or national geographic area, landmark, or physical attribute
  • A portion of a school facility may be named after a person who has served the District or community directly. Such portions of school facilities may include (but are not limited to)
    theatres, gymnasiums, fields, libraries, halls or corridors, or other sub-areas of a school facility.

When introducing these changes, the district struck out the following guidelines.

  • A facility may be named after a person who has served the District or community
  • A facility may be named after any local, state, or national heroic figure

Members of the community may make suggestions on a new name, and the Superintendent may appoint a selection committee to review them. In the end, the Superintendent would introduce three options for a new name, and the final option lies with the board.

The next board meeting will be held July 20 at 7 p.m. Those interested in attending must contact Jennifer Hines by 10 a.m. Monday, July 20.

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