District, Parents Continue Discussions On Renaming Tulsa's Lee Elementary School

Tuesday, July 17th 2018, 6:17 am

By: Amy Avery

After months of controversy, parents and teachers met again Tuesday evening to come up with a new name for Lee Elementary School..

Earlier this year, the Tulsa school board voted to change the name, then backtracked and have now come up with entirely new options.

This was the second meeting for parents and teachers to come together to discuss the renaming of Lee School.

The Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education voted in May to drop “Robert E.” and keep the name “Lee.”

Then, at the next board meeting, two members said they regretted how the process was handled, so they tabled the name change for Lee and moved on to some other schools.

Some parents say they want a new name entirely, but others say they are fine with keeping the name Lee on the outside of the school.

7/14/2018 Related Story: TPS Invites Parents And Students To Review Lee Elementary Name Change

The advisory committee has come up with five options that would replace “Lee” entirely.  Those names are Council Oak, Woody Guthrie, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Luper, and Maple Ridge.

At Tuesday’s meeting, parents, teachers, and the community discussed those names, but a lot of people said they think there’s too much history here and they want the name to stay the same.

“They’re just trying to take away history that doesn’t need to be taken away,” said former Lee student Carol Burger.  “It’s a waste of time and money.”

Former teacher Eddie Creekpaum says, “any school this size has a lot of issues and this is the last thing I think they had time to take up.”

“Folks are bringing their whole selves and their hearts and their truths to this conversation and it’s really important that we have that, whatever those beliefs and feelings might be,” said Errick Greene from Tulsa Public Schools.

A third meeting later this week will be open to the public Thursday, July 19th, at Wilson Teaching and Learning Academy.

The committee hopes to have a name recommendation for the board at their August 6th meeting.


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