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OPINION, LETTER TO EDITOR: Change Robert E. Lee High School’s name, because the Baytown area deserves better

By Randy G. Dunn
July 25, 2020

I strongly support changing the name of Baytown Robert E. Lee High, the school I graduated from. The name needs to be changed because Confederate values and the values of R.E. Lee are not the values of our students and our community as they exist today. Renaming the school is clearly what is best for Baytown and Baytown’s children and school graduates.

The current name of the school honors a man who was a notorious antiAmerican traitor who fought against the United States of America (and lost), failed to honor his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, led many battles that killed tens of thousands of Americans (including huge numbers of American troops), owned many slaves, thought that black people were inferior to whites, and fought for the independence of a rogue nation founded to preserve the institution of slavery for economic gain.

The school never should have been given that disgraceful name. It was originally built and named in 1928 (during the Jim Crow Era) as a segregated school for white children only. The school continued to exist as a “whites only” school for almost four decades, until Baytown schools were finally racially integrated in 1967.

There has been an ongoing movement across this country in recent years to rename schools, streets, and other landmarks that were named to honor despicable Confederate men. The Baytown area cannot afford the bad reputation that would result from being the last such school to change its name.

Randy Dunn
– Baytown Robert E. Lee High School graduate, Class of 1976 (always a Gander)
– Retired public school teacher, independent educational consultant and school improvement advocate
– Unity Alumni Association for School Improvement, Baytown Robert E. Lee High School