OKCPS Board Approves New School Names
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Public School Board unanimously approves the name change of three schools named after Confederate generals.
After months and months of talks to rename Jackson Enterprise, Lee and Stand Watie Elementary Schools, board members for Oklahoma City Public Schools took a vote to approve new, suggested names.
A community survey was launched to get input, and a committee of stakeholders narrowed down that list to two or three choices, and students at each school ultimately voted on the suggestions.
The results were to change Jackson Enterprise Elementary to Mary Golda Ross, a Native American, Oklahoman, Engineer and Mathematician. The change to Lee Elementary for Robert E. Lee, was to Adelaide Lee, an Oklahoman and philanthropist, empowering women and children through access to education and daycare services. And lastly, to Stand Watie Elementary to Esperanza, the Spanish word for hope.
Before the vote, board member Charles Henry raised questions about the process. And spoke out about one of the suggestions – to name Lee after another Lee.
“The stigma still stands,” he said. “Miss A. Lee, I’m sure she’s a great person. But what example did you teach those kids or that community,” Henry said.
In the end he voted in support of the name changes, along with the other board members.
Work to replace signage will begin next month. District officials estimate the cost to be roughly $40,000.
A metro attorney has offered to foot the bill.