• Tulsa residents speak about proposed name changes at area schools

    By: Mallory Thomas


    Story Highlights

    • Tulsa residents discussed proposed name changes for area school at a meeting Monday.
    • Officials are considering name changes for Chouteau, Columbus, Lee and Jackson elementary schools.
    • They will decide whether or not to change the school names at a meeting later on this month.

    TULSA, Okla. - Tulsa residents spoke out Monday about a proposed name change at area schools.

    Area residents gathered to discuss the possible changes at a Tulsa School Board meeting Monday night, and some said they want to see the change.

    The move comes after a Tulsa Public Schools council recommended changing the names of Chouteau, Columbus, Lee and Jackson elementary schools.

    If the school board decides to change the schools' names, they will use private funds to cover potential expenses. Superintendent Deborah Gist said she and the Tulsa Historical Society are also looking into ways to preserve some of the historical items from the schools.

    School board members said they will create a committee consisting of students, alumni, teachers and others to look into the issue.

    Officials said they would not make a decision until their next meeting on March 15.

    A petition that garnered thousands of supporters in August called for the removal of Robert E. Lee's name from a midtown Tulsa elementary school after things turned violent at a rally of white supremacists, KKK members and neo-Nazis over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville.

    At that time, some area residents said that people couldn't wish away the past, while others said they welcomed the change.

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