Chicken-Fried News: Misplaced outrage?

Do you hear that? It’s the low rumble of outraged community members wondering why Oklahoma City schools have buildings named after Confederate generals.

You might have seen a large, amorphous blob resembling a mosh pit going down Classen Boulevard a couple weeks ago. Superintendent Aurora Lora said that the Oklahoma City School Board will begin consulting with the community to see if they support changing the names of four elementary schools: Lee, Jackson, Stand Watie and Wheeler.

Well, it turns out that two of those schools, Wheeler and Lee, might not be named after Confederates after all. According to Larry Johnson, a local researcher for Oklahoma City libraries, Wheeler Elementary is more than likely named after OKC businessman James B. Wheeler, not Joseph Wheeler.

As for Lee Elementary, Johnson told National Public Radio (NPR) that there is nothing definitive that says the school is named for Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson’s name is engraved above the door at Jackson Elementary, and Watie was a Native American Confederate general.

Lora has said the board will not make a final decision until after meeting with the community, citing a similar process to rename the Capitol Hill High School mascot from Redskins to Red Wolves in 2015.

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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