No longer will three elementary schools be named after Confederate generals, the Oklahoma City School Board decided by unanimous vote Monday night.
Instead, the names of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Stand Watie will be replaced by those of a trailblazing Native American woman, a female philanthropist and the Spanish word for hope.
Jackson Enterprise Elementary will soon bear the name of Mary Golda Ross, while Lee Elementary will be renamed after Adelaide Lee, and Stand Watie will become Esperanza.
Ross, a Tahlequah native, was the first Native American female engineer. She was known for her work at Lockheed Martin on “preliminary design concepts for interplanetary space travel, and manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights,” among other accomplishments.
Adelaide Lee was an Oklahoma philanthropist who empowered women and children through access to education and day care services, according to information provided by the school district.
“I think that the naming process was a great way to involve the community,” board member Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs said. “It’s their schools, and they should be the ones that have ownership of what that names should be.”
While there was no public opposition to the name changes during the meeting, board member Charles Henry complained about the selection process.
Another missed teachable moment – Why did Post-War (civil war) Congress decide to honor these Confederate generals? Because they were great Americans.