Opponents of HISD campus name changes issue "ultimatum"

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Opponents of Houston ISD's controversial, anti-Confederate slate of campus name changes simply refuse to fold.

Far from it.

"These people do not represent the school district the way they should. This is an illegal vote and it must be rescinded," said Bea Rouse, a Davis High School Graduate.

"We need to start over and do it the right way. Listen to what the people want. Listen to the taxpayers because it is our money," said Adrienne Murry, mother of Lanier Middle School students.

Alumni from Reagan, Lanier and Jefferson Davis gathered at HISD headquarters to deliver an ultimatum.

"24 hours HISD. Rescind your vote or you will be taken to court," said Wayne Dolcefino, spokesman for name change opponents.

"They have broken the law so I think we need to make sure that they are held accountable for their actions," said Nick Harris, a Davis High School graduate.

Opponents claim a deeply split HISD board illegally approved the name changes without reporting to taxpayers exactly how much the move would cost.

They say measures like carving the name off Reagan High School and replacing thousands of uniforms seems particularly wasteful when the financially stressed District is eliminating teacher pay hikes, cutting hundreds of jobs and reducing supplies for classrooms. 

"The point is this money being spent this way does nothing to further education and in the state that we are in now that's what we should be focusing on," said Murry.

Bottom line - parents and alumni allege agenda driven trustees have made their political point at the expense of the students they were elected to serve.

"I found out in April that I am losing my job to budget cuts. They are cutting Special Education which benefits thousands of students, but you are going to turn around and spend millions of dollars to change names. I’m sorry this just doesn't make sense," said Nancy Abrego, a Reagan High School graduate.

An HISD spokesman declined comment on the "ultimatum" but did say the District now estimates the cost of changing campus names at under $2 million.

Fox 26 reached out to Trustees Jolanda Jones and Wanda Adams. Adams declined comment and Jones did not immediately respond.