Abilene ISD School Board to have ‘open dialogue’ about renaming schools with Confederate ties

Abilene

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene ISD School Board plans to have an open dialogue about renaming four schools with Confederate ties.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, AISD confirms discussions and conversations about renaming the following schools are already taking place:

AISD’s statement says, ““internal discussions among the AISD Board of Trustees and district administrators about the topic of re-naming schools have begun and those conversations will become more involved in the coming days. We will design an appropriate process to hear from our community stakeholders and make student-centered decisions moving forward.”

This statement was released after a petition on Change.org, which has nearly 200 signatures, began to circulate, asking AISD to consider naming the schools after individuals who promote and uphold community values.

Zach S, the listed creator of the petition, claims, “it is not a coincidence that these campuses were built and named in the era immediately before the integration of Abilene’s public schools. A less-than-subtle message was being sent by honoring those specific men at that specific moment in our history: These schools aren’t meant for you. This message is still being communicated today, implicitly promoting a commitment to white supremacy over black equality.”

The full statement from Abilene ISD can be found below:

“The Abilene Independent School District recognizes the conversation regarding the re-naming of schools is of great significance not just in Abilene, but across the country. The need for this important discussion comes at the same time many other meaningful conversations regarding race in our schools and communities are beginning to take place.

The Abilene ISD is committed to equality in our school district in every facet of its operation. This commitment will be the driving force behind our discussions in these areas. Recent events in our country will provide the board the opportunity to have an open dialogue about the re-naming of Jackson, Johnston, Reagan and Lee elementary schools.

Internal discussions among the AISD Board of Trustees and district administrators about the topic of re-naming schools have begun and those conversations will become more involved in the coming days. We will design an appropriate process to hear from our community stakeholders and make student-centered decisions moving forward.”

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