Robert E. Lee students taking steps to make sure their voices are heard as school considers name change

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Robert E. Lee High School is the center of controversy.

Those who want the name changed have fought for this since 2018: from protesting to voicing their opinions at Tyler ISD meetings.

Now they want to be a part of those meetings.

“If there’s a community meeting especially with community leaders we need to be involved in that. We are community leaders. We are on the cheer team or officers on the national thespian society. We are community leaders and we need to be apart of it,” says Honor Neal, student at Robert E. Lee High School.

The students are somewhat frustrated because of the answers they’ve received from Tyler ISD.

“It’s not the right time, you don’t have enough students or we’re going to have closed-door meetings. They’re just looking for excuses, not to change the name. I don’t know why they wouldn’t want to change. It’s way past time, but we’re here to demand that we need change.”

Nick Knight, Lee student

People who aren’t in favor of the renaming say the change isn’t worth the cost.

“Band, football, the football field, everything associated with the sports wold be an immense cost and i dont think the tax payers are probably going to want to pay for that,” says David Jones, class of 1982 Robert E. Lee High School.

The group have goals to change aspects of their school beside changing the name.

“..implement implicit bias training for all teachers and staff working towards a more integrated student body..” says Neal.

The group says they’re ready to hold adult conversations and don’t want to be denied a platform to express themselves.

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