Signage goes up at Mockingbird Elementary on June 12, 2018. (Photo Courtesy Dallas ISD)

Education

Dallas ISD Begins Stripping Confederate Names From Three Schools

The district put up the new signage at Mockingbird Elementary, which will replace Stonewall Jackson.

Stonewall Jackson Elementary School had a new sign installed this morning to reflect its new, Confederate-less name: Mockingbird Elementary. The new name officially goes into effect on July 1, but as you can see by the below tweet, the district went ahead and got the new signage up about a month ahead of time.

The school was one of three that Dallas ISD trustees voted to rename last December. Like Stonewall Jackson, the other two—Robert E. Lee and William L. Cabell—honored Confederate generals.

Cabell Elementary will be rebranded Chapel Hill Preparatory, reflecting the community in Farmers Branch that it serves. Robert E. Lee will be Geneva Heights Elementary, named for the appraisal district’s title for the plat it stands on. The Dallas Morning News reported that the Mockingbird name came from a 54-member committee decision. And the Advocate walked through the renaming of Lee, which was a long time coming. A spokeswoman for the district said dates haven’t been set to formalize the new names of the other schools.

The decision was packaged with a resolution that called for the district to address the effects of the man-made decisions that allowed inequality to flourish, impacting students for decades. About 88 percent of Dallas ISD’s student population is considered poor, which means they come from families that earn below 185 percent of the federal poverty line. That’s under $45,000 for a family of four. Trustees Miguel Solis and Joyce Foreman, who are often on opposite sides of board votes, co-authored the resolution. They call out red-lining, segregation, the devastation of black neighborhoods by highway development, and inadequate resource allocation from school to school throughout Dallas ISD.

While we’re on this topic, let’s revisit some of the language of that resolution:

“We recognize historical decisions have created barriers that no child should be forced to overcome and our direct capacity to eliminate these conditions is limited, but we also believe that a high quality public education provides all children the best chance to enhance their lives.”

“We believe we must directly confront inequities in school and teacher quality, resource allocation, socioeconomically and racially segregated enrollment patterns, and issues of programmatic access and effectiveness that result in achievement and attainment inequities for each and every demographic group.”

“We recognize that Dallas ISD students face many out-of-school factors that impact their education including but not limited to poverty, housing, transportation, and health care, and in these areas we must engage in robust collaboration with private entities, nonprofits, philanthropy, and municipal institutions including the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Dallas Housing Authority, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit to alleviate the symptoms of these factors.”

Renaming the schools was seen as a first step in this journey. And now the signs are going up. Meanwhile, the city is still dawdling over what exactly to do with its Confederate monuments.

Comments

  • shurty

    Cabell returned from the war and was mayor of Dallas for a time he was also u.s marshall . his grandson was a 4 star general in the us army and another grandson was mayor of dallas during the kennedy assassination. let just rewrite history so as not to offend anyone I am appalled at the assault on history

    • Mavdog

      Removing the name “Cabell” and placing the name of the neighborhood will “rewrite history” in what way?
      The history remains, the facts you related do not change the history and the history does not disappear. There is no “assault on history”, for the history is there for anyone who is interested to discover.

      • PeterTx52

        and that is part of the problem. Cabell was made out to be a one-dimensional figure. very few people know his full history after the war. very few know that his funeral procession was seen by an estimated 50,000 people in Dallas and that there was representatives from both sides in attendance to honor the man.
        http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/AOG_Reunions/44/William_Cabell*.html

        • Mavdog

          Cabell was a Confederate, he chose to commit insurrection and Treason against the United States. That is the criteria being applied to determine the names which are being removed. Why would we honor those who committed such actions?
          That linked obit only reinforces the reason to remove his name from the school.
          That Cabell did other acts, such as serving as Mayor, does not erase that fact.

    • Ed Huff

      I’d settle with being appalled by the assault on long deceased folks who were pardoned by the opposing and prevailing side, who went on to live decent lives as well as becoming major contributors to their communities . In this case the family also carried on the tradition of community service. Very sad.

  • PeterTx52

    can’t wait for the removal of a rabbid racist segregationist’s name from a certain East Dallas HS

  • RompingWillyBilly

    There is no way we southern people will ever alter events regarding our being perpetual losers in that war. Like the racist Germans and Japanese have had to do after losing World War 2, in order to receive a passing grade, we have to accept ourselves in history for what we were – big losers. But, you know, we don’t have to be entertained by it. Ask yourself why would a sensible Japanese or German person find such entertainment enjoyable? Likewise, as a southerner myself, I don’t need any more education regarding how stupid my ancestors once were. I have graduated with a passing grade. Indeed, I consider myself today just as sophisticated as any hip northern person. I am not a racist. Being so, from now on, I am no longer going to pay a premium price for cancer causing popcorn and soft drinks. From this day onwards, I refuse to be entertained about my stupid ancestors.

  • kikz2

    a travesty… one day there will be a reckoning.