TPS could rename four elementary schools

Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 17:28:31-05

TULSA -- Tulsa Public Schools have identified four schools within the district that may be renamed.

The schools are Chouteau, Columbus, Lee and Jackson elementary schools. The schools, named after Christopher Columbus, Robert E. Lee, Andrew Jackson and Jean-Pierre Chouteau, were chosen after the district received community feedback and discussed the names with the Tulsa Board of Education. 

The board will discuss possible changes during a March 5 meeting and consider the recommendations. Any action based on the recommendations would occur at the March 15 meeting or later. 

 TPS superintendent Deborah Gist released the following statement:

These are extraordinarily challenging decisions to make - no person is perfect, and it's likely that one could find some cause for concern with many of the individuals for whom our schools are named. Based on the research compiled by the Community Advisory Council and a great deal of careful deliberation, we are moving forward with only those names that are most problematic. We believe that every child has the right to learn in a school that is safe, supportive, and affirming, and this starts - quite literally- at the front door. If a school building is named for someone who had an integral foundational role in shaping the systems, mindsets, and practices that hold communities back from the promise of equal rights and access to opportunity, we believe that it is in the best interests of our students to implement a name change.

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