After months of debate, the Tulsa Public School Board voted to change the name of Lee School.
The Board voted to change the name to Council Oak Elementary.
Lee School alumni Adam Dolinksky says he has watched the debate over the school’s name go on for months.
“Lee means a great deal to me,” he said. “This isn’t about making excuses for what happened in history, but instead for the good we experienced while being there.”
Earlier this year, the school board voted to drop “Robert E.” from the school’s name. They later backtracked on that decision and then formed an advisory committee that considered more than 100 potential names for the school.
“We were asked to do a lot and we did it quickly,” said committee member Scott Pitcock.
Lee School principal Aubrey Flowers says, “throughout this past year, my role was not to take sides.”
After months of meetings, the committee ultimately recommended Council Oak Elementary to the school board.
“It symbolizes coming together as a community,” said Pitcock.
The Council Oak tree represents the historic site that Muscogee Creek Nation held its first council fires after being removed from the southeastern U.S.
“That tree is a big part of our community,” declared Pitcock.
Many hope that now the decision is made, people will be able to come unify around the building that has educated Tulsa students for 100 years.
“We as a school are dedicated to educating the student as a whole,” said Flowers. “Regardless of tonight’s outcome, this is what you’ll find in our school in the coming days.”
The name change goes into effect at the end of Monday’s meeting. Students go back to school on Wednesday.