Parents at Sidney Lanier Middle School are outraged that HISD plans to ignore its own regulations and move forward to improperly change the name of their school. Sidney Lanier middle school has a rich ninety-year historical traditional and incredibly close ties with the community.
“Let me be crystal clear, we have put HISD on notice that they have already violated their own regulations, and if they try to proceed with this improper name change now there will be serious
consequences”, says HISD parent Ron Kahanek.
HISD voted 5-4 to change the name of Lanier Middle School in February. Under their own regulations, the HISD Board failed to disclose the cost and the source of funding in the original
resolution. Ninety percent of the Lanier Community has overwhelmingly voted they want the name to remain the same.
Lanier parents say the cost of changing the Sidney Lanier name will cost up to $500,000 dollars.
“This is not just a fight about the reputation of a famous Southern poet anymore,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “At the end of the day, this is a school board
taking away the rights of the neighborhoods and breaking their own laws. Taxpayers need to remember the name of every HISD Board Member who is prepared to throw away millions of dollars that could be used to buy library books and computers to satisfy the personal vendettas of a couple of board members.”
Sidney Lanier was a poet famed for his works on peace. He owned no slaves. He was no war hero. The school sits in a neighborhood where many of the streets are named after literary figures, such as Kipling, Hawthorne and Montrose. His literary achievements earned him a place in the neighborhood and it deserves to remain.
“Parents and taxpayers should decide on the names of their neighborhood schools, not temporary politicians, and the names shouldn’t be used to exact revenge or for some political agenda.”
“I knew Bob Lanier. He was a good man and a great Mayor, but I believe he would be fighting with us against this outrage if he was alive today,” says Dolcefino. “Mayor Bob wouldn’t want
to be used as a political pawn just because he has the same last name.”