Letters to the Editor: Tyler residents speak out about proposed name change for Robert E. Lee High School

Published on Friday, 25 August 2017 12:36 - Written by

I saw something about a possible name change for Robert E. Lee High School. Will the names for John Tyler High School and for the city of Tyler also be changed? John Tyler was a slave owner while president. I did a very brief internet search and apparently 12 presidents were slave owners at one time or another, including the union general and President U.S. Grant.

When does the foolishness end?

J.J. King



I cannot believe TISD is considering changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School. I had two daughters graduate from Lee High School and both of them cannot understand why we want to conform to a knee-jerk reaction in society today.

If you know anything about U.S. history, you would not consider the change. This is all about history. We cannot change history; we need to study it and embrace it.

Is it just about slavery? If it is, than you should keep the name. If you check historical records, many of the founding fathers had slaves, including George Washington.

Did you know that many people pictured on our currency were slave owners? Should we change all that too?

Jerry Gardner



A pig flew by my window recently and I invited it in for a glass of champagne to celebrate. Thank you, Tyler Paper, for the seemingly impossible - you endorsed a name change for Robert E. Lee High School.

As for John Tyler and the question, “Where does it end,?” there is a big difference in the role of historically significant slave-holders, and somebody like Lee and others who led the treasonous military insurrection against the United States of America to protect the rights of slaveholders.

David M. Henderson

Tyler (Lee ’64)


I was shocked and surprised Sunday morning to read the editorial by Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, which I have subscribed to since 1958.

I do not believe the soldiers who fought in the Civil War would describe themselves as players, like those characters in the mock battle games you can buy. These men were soldiers in every sense of the word, serious and dedicated to the cause they believed in, with the possibility of losing their life in the battles they were fighting. Many of them, and their leaders, whose statues are being torn down, did lose their lives.

Robert E. Lee, the great general and leader of the Confederate Army, was as fine a Christian man as ever lived. The high school, which has borne his name for all these years, is honored to have such a distinguished namesake. If the name is changed, the fact remains, history cannot be erased no matter how hard people try. It will be interesting to see whose name will replace General Lee's if this deed is carried out.

Finally, contrary to what Mr. Clyde says, to change Robert E. Lee High School's name will be acquiescing to revisionist history. Why will we be more excellent if changing the name is done? What is wrong with the old name, and the old traditions?

I respectfully, but fervently request that the school board leave the name, Robert E. Lee on this fine school as it has been since 1958. I believe many people in Tyler feel as I do.

Carmen Curry Bennett