OKCPS Leaders To Meet To Discuss School Names

Tuesday, September 5th 2017, 6:20 am
By: News 9

Leaders at Oklahoma City Public Schools will meet Tuesday to discuss what schools in the district are named after Confederate leaders.

The OKCPS school board wants to be certain of these ties before they consider renaming schools.

Part of that is because of the price tag associated with a name swap -- the expense to change the name of a facility is approximately $50,000 to $75,000.

OKCPS Superintendent Aurora Lora said she's aware "historical names of some of our facilities are not names that reflect our values in 2017."

The schools in question are Jackson Enterprise, Stand Watie, Lee and Wheeler elementary schools. 

District leaders are working to confirm whether Lee and Wheeler elementary schools, both opened in 1910, are actually named after Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Joseph Wheeler.

After much research, school district historians found Wheeler Park was named after Oklahoma Senate leader James Wheeler who died four years before Wheeler Elementary was named.

Similarly, former police chief and businessman, Oscar Lee died several years before Lee Elementary was named.

At a future meeting Lora, will be requesting Board authorization to engage the communities at schools confirmed to be named after Confederate leaders to consider rededicating these facilities.