The Austin school board on Monday night voted to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary, the first time the district has changed the name of a school because of its ties to the Confederacy.
In an 8-1 vote, trustees chose Russell Lee Elementary, the name favored among the school’s parents and teachers. Trustee Paul Saldaña cast the dissenting vote.
Some community members voiced support for that name because the school already is referred to as just Lee, and the majority of trustees went along with that recommendation.
Russell Lee was a critically acclaimed Depression-era photographer and a founder of the University of Texas photography department. He also lived in the neighborhood. A major collection of his work is archived at the University of Texas’ Briscoe Center for American History.
Trustee Amber Elenz said she felt the board should honor the choice made by parents and teachers at the school.