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EPISD moves to change Robert E. Lee school name, adopts year-round school calendar

Robert E. Lee Elementary School
Robert E. Lee Elementary School in northeast El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- As controversial monuments and other signs of the Confederacy are removed across the country to reduce obstacles to racial harmony, one northeast El Paso school is moving towards a name change.

The El Paso Independent School District board voted 5-1 Tuesday to begin the process to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

The board measure calls for holding a series of community meetings to seek input on a new name for the school.

Trustee Freddy Klayel-Avalos, who represents District 6, had pushed for a name change away from Robert E. Lee, who was the senior commander of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

"It wasn't in our best interests, nor did it reflect our values to have a name of Robert E. Lee. Because had he had his way, all these students and employees would not be part of the district, would not have been educated, would have been slaves," he said.

Trustee Diane Dye, who represents the district were the school is located, was the lone "no" vote, having previously said she doesn't think her constituents want a name change.

"There's no confederate symbolism anywhere if anybody had take the time to go and see that school," Dye said.

Some of those who live near the school seemed to agree.

"I just think it shouldn't change because of everything that's happening now. It wasn't brought up years ago, so why now," said resident Amy Hernandez.

"I'm gonna miss the name, but if its better for the community then its fine," added Enrique Torres, another resident of the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the EPISD board also voted Tuesday to approve a plan to switch over to a 'year-round' academic calendar.

The change will shorten the summer vacation, but also adds in breaks elsewhere for staff and students.

The Canutillo Independent School District adopted a similar measure already, and the Ysleta Idepdendent School District was scheduled to take up the concept on Wednesday.

The 'year-round' concept has been talked about by school districts in the past, but recently gained significant steam as a means to get things back on track following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Right now, both the El Paso and Canutillo districts are tentatively slated to start the new school year on Aug. 3, which is the anniversary of the El Paso Walmart shooting tragedy.

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.



  1. Totally ignorant, ridiculous garbage.

    Morons totally unaware of history make judgment through the lens of today’s modern MOB MENTALITY.

    These same clowns should MOVE AWAY FROM TEXAS, which was, as we all know, a slave state of the CSA.

    1. Quit whining. You sound like my son when I tell him to do dishes. Now, YOU get the eff out of town and don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya, cry baby.

          1. You are, of course, showing your lack of education Tucson Mike. Villa is a hero to the oppressed. Of course you refer to him as a thug. He would have kicked your ass in no time for being pomposo.

        1. The only dummy here is you Alberto. Just read your rants. Delusional much? America looks the same to me. You’re watching too much CNN and MSNBC.

    1. waste of money madmike? LOL. Totally worth it to transform El Paso to what it is. Mexican culture. Dont like it? Vamonos. Adios

      1. El Paso’s colorful culture has been in place for two centuries. If you are a gringo who doesn’t appreciate our varied but mainly hispanic culture, then move to Maine. If you can’t speak Spanish or if you’re not trying to become bilingual, then you need to get your ass out too!

        1. Ho hum. Yawn! Same old tired answers from a tired old fart. Section 8, Alberto, basement. Yaaaaaawn! Got nothing to say when he knows hes dead wrong. Pobrecito Viejito.

  2. Im sure the Republican Westside would be proud to have such symbol of oppression on tour every Sunday afternoon after church up & down Mesa avenue

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