The president of Tyler Independent School District's Board of Trustees issued a statement acknowledging a renewed push to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

Community members are expected to protest ahead of the June board meeting at the district's Plyler Instructional Complex, and speak during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Board president Wade Washmon said in the statement that he hopes the summer can be used to productively discuss the issue.

"We as a board are well aware of the issues surrounding the names of both of our flagship high schools. We have heard from, and anticipate hearing more, from the community on the subject. This time in between school years will hopefully be used to discuss, and find both consensus and meaningful resolution in a unified manner," Washmon said. "Our thoughts on this matter will be limited to future board meetings where this topic is on the agenda, and of course during our conversations with community members. It is our obligation to remain poised and reasonable during this time, and we would appreciate your patience as we work, serve, and handle the business of this district while also addressing this issue. All media inquiries should be directed through the Tyler ISD communications department."

Texas open meeting laws prohibit discussion of items not on the meeting's agenda, and the board is not permitted to respond to speakers during the public comment portion.

A renewed organized push to change the name of the high school came after weeks of nightly protests in Tyler in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Multiple student athletes and alumni also have organized a campaign stating they will not wear the name "Lee" or "Robert E. Lee" or compete for the school unless the name is changed.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on The Murder Tapes, Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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