Abilene ISD Board unanimously votes to rename schools named after Confederate leaders


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Board of Trustees for the Abilene Independent School District (AISD) has unanimously voted to change the names of four schools named after Confederate leaders.

The Board ended a lengthy discussion at Monday night’s meeting, with all agreeing to proceed with the name change for Robert E. Lee Elementary, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson Elementary, Albert Sidney Johnston Elementary and John H. Reagan Elementary.

“I appreciate your willingness and boldness to move forward,” AISD Board President Daryl Zeller told the board after the vote.

The process and timeline, along with details on any possible names, will be discussed at the board’s October workshop.

An amendment was made to the motion, clarifying that there would be a timeline and process. Because the Abilene ISD said it will likely close Reagan Elementary at the end of the school year, the board added the timeline amendment. The timeline for a name change could be further than the school was open, thereby not requiring a name change for Reagan Elementary.

In August, the board approved a policy on how it could rename schools.

The renaming of these schools was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after racial tensions rose across the nation.

An online petition was made calling for the renaming of school and it garnered nearly 4,000 signatures.

Possible names to be considered for the schools have already risen, including a fallen soldier who went to school in Abilene.

Board Member Billy Enriquez made the original motion to change the names.

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