New petition circulating to change name of Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A new petition on Change.org has begun circulating on social media asking Tyler ISD to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

The petition was started by a woman named Imani Rivera on Friday. It is unclear what connection to the school that Rivera has.

I believe it is inappropriate to continue to allow a confederate soldier be the spearhead for an educational establishment where students of different ethnicities attend. It is perpetuating the notion that black lives are beneath those of white power and it allows racism to flame not only in the school but in our community.  Those in power need to know how damaging it is to your African American students. And should be a precedent for change in East Texas.

So far, nearly 4,000 people have signed the petition.

“Do we want Tyler to be remembered as the town that fought against healing and unity?” one of the comments said. “I’ve seen plenty of racism here— but this town has more good people than bad. Those of us with the privilege to do so need to lift our voices for the ones who’ve been CONTINUALLY silenced.”

Back in 2018, Tyler ISD took on the issue after another petition circulated. Many hearings were held along with several hours of residents voicing their opinions.

However, when school board member Aaron Martinez formally introduced a motion for a vote, no other member would second the motion, essentially letting the move die.

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