Listener: Renaming schools, what’s next?

Mr. Pratt,

My school district has struck again!  Yes, I was a student in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio.  (Never mind which high school issued me the diploma; mentioning the name of the school gives it credit it does not deserve.)  Apparently they have solved ALL of their major issues and is the last word in education anywhere, for they wrestled with the great issue of whether or not Robert E. Lee High School should keep its name!

In truth, I saw this coming 27 years ago while still a high school student at another NEISD school.  In the fall of 1990 it was suddenly deemed the height of controversy that the Confederate battle flag should be painted on a wall on the exterior of the school.  The local San Antonio media helped fan the flames and the student body was compelled to hold a vote to replace the flag with something more palatable to “sensibilities”.  I knew then it was only a matter of time before they changed the name of the school altogether.

Now, I do not approve of the cause for which Robert E. Lee fought, nor of the Confederacy, but having been a serious student of history with an M.A. in the subject, I know that changing the name of the school (and removing monuments and statues) does nothing – nothing whatsoever – to change the fact of the Civil War or that slavery existed in the country.  In fact, for that reason I’d prefer everything be left in place – the better to learn from the past.  (As a high school student, I routinely mocked Lee High School anyway, come time for football season or ROTC competitions, as I was a ROTC cadet for a time – precisely because it bore the name of a man who was at the head of a lost cause!  This made for easy fodder for jokes.)

What will NEISD decide on next?

Perhaps we can change the name of Winston Churchill High School.  I’m shocked they hadn’t on the basis that he HATED school and was, with the exception of history and literature, a poor student…but he was also an old school British imperialist at heart.  Or perhaps they will change the name of Theodore Roosevelt High School, as he doubtless harbored racist attitudes. When does it end?  (You and I both know the answer: sometime around the First of Never.)

the NEISD and the Left have adopted the tactics of the Red Guards of China’s Cultural Revolution, so they may as well go whole-hog.  The new name of the school?  Why, Mao Zedong High School.

In the meantime, Robert E. Lee High School is looking for a new name now.  I have one in mind.  To properly inaugurate the new name, the principal should stand before the student body, properly assembled, and proclaim to the students that “It is on a blank page the most beautiful poetry is written”, and have them smash and destroy any evidence of the old name of the school.  If any teachers and other faculty object, have the students force them to publicly denounce themselves before being subject to a student administered beating.  And perhaps we could even go so far as to arrest every past graduate of Lee High School and demand they turn over their diplomas.  Does this sound extreme?  I guess, but I would submit that the NEISD and the Left have adopted the tactics of the Red Guards of China’s Cultural Revolution, so they may as well go whole-hog.  The new name of the school?  Why, Mao Zedong High School.  (Well, they want the Red Guards here, right?  And that could be the new school mascot, as the Volunteers will not do.)

Somewhere, The Great Helmsman must be pleased.

Sigh.  I was rather enjoying my brief respite in my hometown of San Antonio too…

– Steven, from the swamp in Swisher County

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