Austin forum focuses on resistance to Confederate name changes


8 p.m. update: A coalition that helped push for the renaming of five Austin schools  held a forum Wednesday focused on next steps in renaming schools with Confederate namesakes, equity issues and racism.

The Civil War Reignited: The Power & Place of Confederate Namesakes forum drew about 60 attendees and came two nights after a divided school board voted to remove Confederate names from five of its schools. Panelists included Trustees Ann Teich and Ted Gordon, who had opposing views on whether to rename the schools, Lanier and Reagan high school students and NAACP Austin chapter President Nelson Linder.

Here are some of the thoughts they shared:

Earlier: Two nights after a divided Austin school board voted to strip Confederate names from five schools, a coalition that helped push for the decision is hosting a dialogue on the issue.

Civil War Reignited: The Power & Place of Confederate Namesakes takes place tonight in the King-Seabrook Chapel of Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St.

The forum, hosted by the East Austin Coalition for Quality Education, was scheduled weeks prior to Monday’s vote, when trustees voted 7-2 to rename the schools that bear the names of Confederate figures.

Austin school Trustees Ted Gordon, who was a staunch supporter of the name changes, and Ann Teich, who opposed renaming the schools, are among the panelists.

Other panelists include NAACP Austin chapter President Nelson Linder and Lanier and Reagan high school students.

The schools to be renamed include:

• The Allan facility (the former Allan Elementary), named for John T. Allan, an officer in the Confederate army.

• Reagan High School, named for John H. Reagan, the Confederacy’s postmaster general.

• Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston campus, which is named for Gen. Albert S. Johnston.

• Lanier High School, named for Sidney Lanier, a noted poet who fought for the Confederacy.

• Fulmore Middle School, named for Zachary Taylor Fulmore, a private in the Confederate army.



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