Give the LEE School community a fair & open renaming process

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We, as Lee School students, parents, alumni, neighbors, Tulsa community members and others vested in the best interest of the school currently known as “Site Code 265”, respectfully request that the TPS Board of Education reject the proposed name “Council Oak Elementary School” because it’s recommendation is the product of a profoundly flawed and manipulated process, and is contrary to the clear preferences of legitimate school stakeholders. To move forward with a new name at this time sets Tulsa Public School on a crash course to destroy not only a school’s history, but desecrate its 99-year old building – all in the service of a “politically correct” agenda.

The most recent Ad Hoc Committee process to select a name for the former Robert E. Lee Elementary school was ENGINEERED by TPS to prevent any further consideration of names which included the word “Lee”. As a result, the constructive input of Lee students, families and the neighborhood community was LIMITED and IGNORED in order to reach a result politically favored by TPS Administration. That no School Board member attended either of the charrettes held at Lee School shows how little concern they have for the community most impacted by their decision.

The newest Ad Hoc committee included three high level Tulsa Public School administrators, and was “facilitated” by an individual hand-picked by TPS. The presence of these individuals is obvious – to enforce the directive that no “Lee” names see the light of day. This was accomplished by strategic “facilitation” and implicit intimidation. The Committee also included four teachers. Can a teacher hold a position counter to three levels of his/her managers and not feel intimidated, especially in light of the lack of trust between teaching staff and TPS administrative personnel recently documented by the Tulsa World (7/16/18)?

With Tulsa Public Schools in fiscal crisis, and with teachers leaving the District in droves, followed by a record number of emergency certifications being issued for teachers, principals and administrators, there are fundamental measures that need to be taken. Completely erasing the identity of a successful and diverse elementary school is, at best, a waste of resources and, at worst, an intentional and paternalistic distraction from addressing the real changes needed to benefit all students of Tulsa Public Schools.

By signing this petition, I respectfully request that the TPS Board of Education reject the recommendation of the politically engineered Ad Hoc Committee, and constitute a new, legally-sufficient, non-outcome driven Ad Hoc Committee to facilitate an open, above-board, fair, ethical and inclusive means of determining the name for Site Code 265 – a process in which a “Lee” name is eligible to be considered.