The promised community meeting to discuss whether the name of Lanier Middle School should be changed has been set for 6 p.m. Feb. 3 at the school, 2600 Woodhead St.
The campus is one of eight in an HISD proposal to remove the names of schools whose namesakes have ties with the Confederacy and to work with each school community to select a new name.
Lanier and Johnston middle schools and Davis and Reagan high schools were pulled from that list at their respective trustees’ request until each trustee could hold a meeting with the schools’ stakeholders.
Newly-elected District IV Trustee Jolanda Jones telegraphed her intent to vote for the name change in social media messages prior to the board meeting Jan. 14 but was persuaded to delay the Lanier decision until she could hold the meeting at the school. The board is expected to address the issue again at its Feb. 11 meeting.
Sidney Lanier, for whom the school is named, was a conscripted private in the Confederate army who later went on to become a noted poet and advocate for the healing of divisions between the North and South. A number of those connected with the school and outside the Lanier community have said that he does not fit the HISD criteria of being a “Confederate leader” and that the school should retain his name.
The HISD board voted to move forward with the renaming of Dowling, Grady and Jackson middle schools and Lee High School at its January meeting.