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Texas Students Vote to Change School Name Because of Ties to Confederacy

Students at a Texas middle school have voted to change their school’s name to remove its connection to a Confederate Army general.

Since the tragic shootings at a Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last summer, and pictures of the shooter waving a Confederate battle flag emerged, all symbols of the Confederacy have been under attack.

Statues of generals and presidents, statesmen and slave owners are being pulled from atop monuments and even statuary hall in the Capital building in Washington. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Busts have been vandalized, removed from college campuses, and school boards voting to drop names from high schools.

The next step in re-writing history occurred on Friday in Dallas, when students at the John B. Hood Middle School voted to change the schools name. These 6th, 7th, and 8th graders made their own history as well, becoming the first students to participate in the renaming process in the district.

Telling the Dallas Morning News that she thought it was a lesson in democracy, school Principal LaTonya Lockhart said the election was brought on after students told her that they didn’t think it was appropriate for the school to be named for the General.

The 8th grade class President Sarah Woods voted against the name change, telling WFAA-TV  “History is history. You can’t erase it. Why would you?”

“I came to school to get an education, not to worry about who the school was named after,”the young black student continued. “In order for you to progress in the future, you have to look back on the past as a guideline.”

In an election set in the lunchroom on Friday, the results varied according to the grade level. As the count was released to the media, it showed the final tally: 

Sixth Grade — Yes 66 percent, No 34 percent

Seventh Grade — Yes 68 percent, No 34 percent

Eighth Grade — Yes 48 percent, No 51 percent

That tallies to a 60.6 percent  vote in favor of the change, 39.4 against, or in modern election coverage, something akin to a landslide.

Hood Junior High School was opened in 1955, and today serves around 1,000 students. The name was later changed to Hood Middle School. The changing demographics of the Pleasant Grove neighborhood show that the school is now 84 percent Hispanic, 15 percent Black and 1 percent white.

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, 13-year-old 8th grader Christina Ramirez said “He was a confederate soldier. What he did, everybody knows it was bad, but why change history.”

8th graders were the least persuaded by arguments for change, saying they liked the schools traditional name. But newcomer and 6th grader Nidia Hernandez, like many of her classmates, said “Since it had to do with a bad man who worked with the Confederacy, I think we should change it.”

The Dallas ISD board of trustees will consider the name change at their May meeting, with a final decision by June.

The naming process will involve community members, and Ms. Lockhart says the naming process will begin Monday with information packets to every class, with search and decision making guidelines.

Principal Lockhart says there will be a display case honoring the school’s history and its’ namesake.

This leaves the Dallas ISD with two elementary schools retaining Confederate names, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

As reported couple of weeks ago in Breitbart Texas, the Houston ISD has voted to change the names of four schools after the end of this school year, with four more open to discussion.

Class President Sarah Woods summed up the vote: “I’m happy that people are kind of giving us a chance to voice our opinion,” said the 13-year-old 8th grader. “I’m very proud of our principal because she gives us a choice. Our voice can be heard.”

Both Hood County, Texas, and the Army’s largest base, Fort Hood, are named in honor of the former Confederate general.

Rob Milford is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. You can follow him on Facebook.

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