Goose Creek CISD will not change the name of Robert E. Lee HS, for now

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Thursday, September 10, 2020
Robert E. Lee HS name will remain for now, school board votes
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WATCH: Here's a look at the virtual meeting where the Goose Creek CISD school board decided to not change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- Goose Creek CISD board members voted against changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School early Thursday morning.

Despite the vote, the back and forth isn't over. The board voted around 1:15 a.m. to form a committee to investigate the possible renaming of education facilities.

The vote comes in the wake of a wave of name changes and monument removals across the country.

Several demonstrators told ABC13 they believe changing the name isn't necessary and the board should be focused on other issues like the pandemic.

"I'm asking the board to remember that we have a high unemployment rate here. People are losing their homes. They are being evicted, and the amount of money spent on changing names is obscene. Please vote no," one person said at the meeting.

"It's time to change this name. It's time to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School," another attendee said. "It's not the time to delay this decision by forming a committee."

The school, named after the former Confederate general, opened in 1928 and has an enrollment of approximately 1,700 students.

A wave of name changes and monument removals has taken place across the U.S. this year, including Harris County where Robert E. Lee Road was changed to Unison Road in July.

"The history that we learned about Robert E. Lee himself, was not the history that we learned later when we graduated from Robert E Lee," 1988 graduate Kevin Sheade said in August.

FROM 2019: Baytown's Robert E. Lee High School celebrates 90 years

"Coalition Members believe having public institutions named in honor of Confederate leaders, such as Lee, conveys and upholds the very suffering of slave ancestors who endured heinous acts of torture and murder," said the Baytown United Coalition for Change in a statement last month. "The Coalition seeks reform of systemic racism perpetuated by coveting the name of Confederate General Robert E. Lee."