DALLAS – At least two more campuses at the Dallas Independent School District are likely to get new names, according to trustee Joyce Foreman.
“I think there will be some more names changed in my district,” said Foreman during an appearance on WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics this morning.
Parents and neighbors of Robert L. Thornton Elementary School and William Hawley Atwell Academy – both in south Oak Cliff – have approached Foreman, she said, to initiate a change.
“The community doesn’t feel like Thornton was the kind of representative they wanted the school to be named after so I’m open to listen to the community,” Foreman told WFAA.
R.L. Thornton served as mayor of Dallas from 1953 – 1961 but was reportedly also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Interstate 35E south of downtown and Interstate 30 between Dallas and Mesquite are both named in Thornton’s honor.
In February, James Dunn began a separate petition to Dallas City Council to rename those freeways in honor of President Barack Obama.
William Hawley Atwell was a former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 1898 to 1913. His father fought for the Union Army in the Civil War and when William Hawley Atwell, a Republican, ran for governor in 1922, he was critical of the Ku Klux Klan calling it “…an outgrowth of failure to enforce the law,” according to the Texas State Historical Association.
Last Thursday, the DISD board voted unanimously, 9-0, to rename four campuses originally named for Confederate generals. Communities around each school will brainstorm and propose new names by February 1. The board must approve the new names before they take effect July 1, 2018.
In 2016, the community around John B. Hood Middle School voted to rename it Piedmont Global Academy which the board later approved.