Chicken-Fried News: What’s in a name?

Chicken-Fried News: What’s in a name?
Fried chicken drumstick in isolated white background

In the wake of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue, the drumbeat across the country to dismantle the large participation trophies is becoming louder.

Although Oklahoma City does not have any such statues, there are four elementary schools that possibly are named after Confederate officers: Lee, Jackson, Stand Watie and Wheeler.

After a majority of Oklahoma City School Board members said they are in favor of changing the name of the elementary schools, Superintendent Aurora Lora said that she would talk to the community before making a decision to rename the schools.

“We recognize that the historical names of some facilities are not names that reflect our values in 2017,” the district said in a statement.

Lora said at a Wednesday press conference that she will begin to officially speak with parents and students that live near the schools as early as Sept. 5, according to The Oklahoman.

“I’m not interested in forcing a name change on a community that does not feel it is necessary. Rather, I hope to use this opportunity as a learning experience for our communities to learn more about our current namesakes and help find funding necessary to do the name change, if the community feels that they would like to pursue this,” Lora said at the press conference, according to KFOR.

The station reports that changing the name of a single school costs between $50,000 and $75,000. The process would be similar to the renaming of the Capitol Hill High School mascot, which was changed from Redskins to Red Wolves in 2015.