EPISD Trustee Working To Change Robert E. Lee Elementary School Name
In 2017 in the aftermath of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, many communities across the United States began removing Confederate symbols and changing the name of buildings and schools named for Confederate leaders. In 2014, Fort Bliss officially changed the name of Robert E. Lee Road to Buffalo Soldier Road in recognition of the African-American units that moved through Bliss in the 19th century. Robert E. Lee Gate was renamed Buffalo Soldier Gate in 2013. In 2000, Fort Bliss also changed the name of Forrest Road to Cassidy Road. The change was made because Forrest Road was named after Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
In 2017, there was a push to change the name of bortheast El Paso elementary school Robert E. Lee Elementary. The school is named for the Confederate military leader. It is located at 7710 Pandora Street near Fort Bliss, and now in light of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago, an El Paso Independent School District trustee is looking again at getting the name changed.
Freddy Klayel-Avalos said he has discussed the possible name change with Superintendent Juan Cabrera after a concerned constituent contacted him about the school's name. Klayel-Avalos said Robert E. Lee Elementary will be discussed at the next EPISD school board meeting. On his social media account he called the possible name change "imminent."
Klayel-Avalos said Cabrera had supported changing Robert E. Lee Elementary’s name back in 2017. So what would the renamed school be called? Right now there is no name that is being brought forward but on Klayel-Avalo's social media account, there were a number of names offered by commenters. If there is a name change approved for Robert E. Lee Elementary this month, the name would be changed later this year after a vetting process to determine the new name.