TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - We could be just days from knowing the new names of Tyler’s two high schools. Tyler ISD accepted suggestions from the public starting starting on July 21st and the window to submit closed at noon today. The total number of people who submitted their recommendations is 2,193.
Orenthia Mason retired after thirty years in education. She said, “it is always important for the community to express their opinions and it is just an opinion. The naming of the schools rest in the hands of the school board. That is the policy, it’s in the law for the school board of TISD so it’s very important to hear what the citizens had to say, very important.”
Mason served on the TISD Board of Trustees for 15 years; during that time, the name change was initially brought to the board.
“Of course the board did not take a vote at that time. And now it has come up again before this board of trustees and I commend them for the decision that they made to change the name of both high schools,” says Mason.
She says now, the time is right. The Board of Trustees will be presented the final names at the workshop Thursday, August 6. The Board can choose to vote at a later time or select the new names and discuss the next steps in this process, but Mason says there’s something else that needs to be changed.
“I hope that with the changing of the names of the high schools that each one of us will look within our hearts and also change our hearts because hatred, animosity, racism rests within us. The changing of the high schools is the first step and it’s a great step, but the next step is we need to change our hearts and our lives.”
The cost for changing the names still weighs at roughly $330,000. The public has raised 22% of that cost which is nearly $71,000 through the East Texas Communities Foundation.