Education

Texas School Will Auction Off Confederate Swag Amid $300K Renaming

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

A Texas school will auction off Confederate memorabilia amid a school renaming projected to cost about $300,000.

The North East Independent School District (NEISD) board in San Antonio, Texas, voted to change Robert E. Lee High School’s name to Legacy of Educational Excellence, or LEE High School, reported San Antonio Express-News. Keeping the “Lee” part of the original name saved the district over $1 million in renaming costs.

Around 1,600 items from the school’s days named after the Confederate general will be auctioned off from July 16 to July 30 on NEISD’s site. The district will sell Lee-branded shirts, jerseys, banners, mugs, chairs, bags, photos and yearbooks. Each item will be auctioned with a $5 floor, so the district expects to make $8,000 or more, provided it sells all of the items. (RELATED: Virginia School Drops 3 Letters In Name To Try To Erase Confederate General Reference)

“It could have been so many more items, had they gone in a different direction with that name,” NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said, referring to the decision to preserve the “Lee” part of the school’s name.

Legacy of Educational Excellence High School, which taught 3,208 students in 2017, will preserve significant artifacts, such as a Lee statue, in a museum within the school library. But to rebrand the school, signs must be changed, the statue must be moved from the lobby and doormats, decals, scoreboards and the gym floor must be modified.

Board trustees voted unanimously to change the former Robert E. Lee High’s name in 2017, arguing that the name disrupted the school’s learning environment. Schools and cities sought to distance themselves from Confederate iconography after the tragedy at the “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.

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