TPS To Review School Names Following Petition To Change Lee Elementary

Monday, August 14th 2017, 1:19 pm

Tulsa Public Schools plans to review school names following the launch of a petition to change the name of Lee Elementary.

The petition, organized by a Dallas woman with Tulsa ties, was started as a reaction to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On the petition, it says:

“No one wants to see Tulsa be the next Charlottesville. There’s not much we can do to fight against White Supremacists in America, but this is something we CAN do. We have control over who we glorify.

“The solution? Hold a contest and have the Tulsa community vote for a new name, honoring a more respectable American hero.”

The petition has more than 1,000 supporters.

TPS announced Monday the district would review names of all schools "to ensure that our learning communities have names that are aligned with our values."

The district said community members would be asked to work with the school board and superintendent as part of the effort.

You can read the full TPS statement below.

“We are heartbroken by the events that unfolded in Charlottesville this weekend. This blatant display of racism and bigotry by a misguided, misinformed group of white supremacists is alarming, troubling, and deeply hurtful to everyone in our community. Every person deserves love, respect, and dignity, and we remain committed to effecting transformative change by putting equity at the forefront of the ways that we teach, learn, and work together.

“Board members and the superintendent have discussed the namesakes of our schools previously and certainly in recent days. Leading with equity means thinking critically about our traditions and histories and recognizing where changes may be needed to live our core values of equity, character, excellence, team, and joy. We are committing to undertaking a full review of the names of all of our schools to ensure that our learning communities have names that are aligned with our values. We are working to identify community members to engage with the board of education and superintendent in this effort and look forward to sharing more information as our plans develop.”