Judson name change debate latest naming controversy for SA schools

Robert E. Lee HS, Vestal Elementary also had name change debates


SAN ANTONIO – After much discussion and debate, the Judson Independent School District board of trustees agreed on Tuesday to change the name of the district's new high school to Veterans Memorial High School.  

In September, the Judson ISD board voted to name the school after Willis Mackey, the district's former superintendent who retired in 2014. 

Many parents and residents however insisted that the name should honor the community's veterans.  

The Judson ISD debate is the latest school naming controversy across the Alamo City. 

RELATED: Judson ISD board approves high school name change

Recently, the Harlandale Independent School District debated changing the name of Vestal Elementary to honor late Tejano singer Emilio Navaira, who passed away last month.

Navaira attended Vestal Elementary and the name change proposal came from Harlandale ISD trustee Tomas Uresti. The proposal was met with some criticism and opposing viewpoints.

Navaira accomplished several things in his music career and within the community, but he was also charged with three drinking and driving offenses, including a tour bus crash that left him in critical condition with a severe brain injury.

No vote was taken after the initial proposal, but the Harlandale ISD board president said the matter could be discussed in the future and the name change process is a lengthy one.

The North East Independent School District faced a similar debate and opted not to rename Robert E. Lee High School last December.

The debate whether or not to rename the high school lasted five months after a petition was started by a Lee student Kayla Wilson who collected thousands of signatures.

The petition came about after the deadly mass shooting at a church in South Carolina in June 2015. 

Trustees said the name would not be changed despite the signatures, emails and phone calls to board members

The board also voted down a motion to continue discussion and gather more options from students, parents and staff.

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