It’s been a hot topic of discussion, changing the names of Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High Schools.
On Thursday two board members asked that the item be removed from the agenda. The Rev. Orenthia Mason and Arron Martinez.
Rev. Mason asked for the removal of the item saying, "why should I do the same thing to Robert E. Lee High School and John Tyler High School that was done to us at Emmett J. Scott?"
The Rev. Fritz Hager, Jr., President, Tyler ISD Board of Trustees released this statement regarding the removal of the agenda item:
Earlier today I received requests from Rev. Mason and Mr. Martinez to remove the agenda item related to a possible name change for Robert E Lee HS that they previously submitted. I have directed the Superintendent to remove the item from the June 7 meeting and return the meeting to its customary time and format as our monthly board workshop.
Although I am personally disappointed with this outcome, my respect for my fellow board members has grown throughout this process, especially Rev. Mason, Mr. Martinez, and Mr. Bergfeld, who have modeled diligence, openness to alternative viewpoints, and concern for our entire community. Although different viewpoints have been passionately and effectively advocated, I believe the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees remains united, along with our exceptional Superintendent, Dr. Marty Crawford, in continuing to work to improve student outcomes. Excellent public schools are critical to the long-term health and success of our community and I am honored to work with my fellow trustees and the amazing staff of Tyler ISD to help students realize their God-given potential.
My hope is that now that the discussion of the name change has concluded, the more important conversations around the history of our community and our current challenges will still continue. Tyler is a great community that I am thankful to live, raise my family, work and serve in but I know we can still be better. As a pastor and school trustee I care deeply about reconciliation and am grieved by the deep wounds that still exist in our community. Through prayer, time, authentic conversation and relationships, concern for our neighbors and caring leadership we can continue to make progress on these important issues.