TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The family of a Tyler ISD student going into the ninth grade is requesting a school transfer.
The boy doesn’t want to attend Robert E. Lee.
His parents say it’s a moral issue to send their child to a school named after a confederate general.
But the father’s request for that transfer was denied by the district months ago.
Three weeks ago, George Floyd died at the hands of police causing a racial uproar.
There have been protests, riots, and the call for confederate statues and names to be taken down or erased.
But months before the movement, this Tyler ISD parent was taking a stand against Robert E. Lee High School.
“I don’t want my son going to Robert E. Lee because of the name. What it stands for, the racism. I’m from Mississippi and I don’t like anything about Robert E. Lee.”Curtis Lowe, concerned parent
His son will soon start his freshman year and after the district was realigned in 2018, new boundaries altered where the teen would be attending high school.
“This is hurting John Tyler,” Lowe said. “Lee is benefiting from the zoning but John Tyler is hurting from the zoning.”
His older son went to John Tyler, graduating in 2014.
The family still living at the same address but now divided between district lines.
“I don’t think that’s fair,” Lowe said.
The school district claimed redistricting was necessary to account for projected population growth in north Tyler.T
The city says John Tyler would outnumber Robert E Lee 3,000 students to 2,000 in a 10-year-span if the attendance lines stayed the same.
Curtis Lowe argues he lives closer to John Tyler and should be going there.
John Tyler is 3 miles away or 7 minutes.
Robert E Lee was 5 miles away or 15 minutes.
It’s not only an issue of rules or boundaries for Lowe but an issue of morals.
“The school is offensive and racist,” Lowe said. “It’s all the things you don’t want.”
According to the official Tyler ISD handbook, a transfer request is a privilege.
It’s a privilege that was formally denied for the Lowe family on April 20th.
“As a parent, you want to protect your kid from racism as much as possible. I don’t think going to Lee will protect him.”Curtis Lowe
The district telling Lowe he can try for a transfer again next year.
We reached out to Tyler ISD for comment. They declined to issue a statement and referred us to the transfer policy online.