HISD to vote on 7 proposed school name changes

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Thursday, May 12, 2016
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HISD is considering proposed name changes to 7 area schools

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston Independent School District is slated to vote today on the hotly contested renaming of seven area schools.

Now, in the final hours before the big vote, several protests were scheduled to happen Thursday.

HISD says the seven schools up for renaming have names with ties to the confederacy. Several community members agree.

"It represents that period in history which was a bloody period. A lot of people say it's not about history but it was," said Linda Scurlock, who has collected hundreds of signatures in favor of renaming Dowling Middle School, one of the schools on the list.

But not everyone agrees with that statement.

One Houston law firm sent a letter to HISD Wednesday, threatening to sue on behalf of school students, alumni and community letters should the school board vote to rename the schools.

Daniel Goforth of Goforth Law Firm writes in the letter: "In one case, the selected school was named after someone that was only 10 years old during the Civil War and hadn't participated in the Confederate military." The letter did not name said school.

The letter calls the board's path "unauthorized" because the "vote to rename these schools violates its own regulations" saying "the original HISD resolution to rename Houston's public schools failed to identify in writing the costs and the source of funds for the renaming."

Goforth writes renaming one school would cost "almost half-a-million dollars."

HISD says the cost to rename one school would cost approximately $250,000.

Proposed names with their current names:

Margaret Long Wisdom High School (currently Lee High School)

Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School (currently Johnston Middle School)

Heights High School (currently Reagan High School)

Audrey H. Lawson Middle School (currently Dowling Middle School)

Bob Lanier Middle School (currently Sidney Lanier Middle School)

Northside High School (currently Davis High School)

Yolanda Black Navarro Middle School (currently Jackson Middle School)

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