Why doesn’t Dallas have a high school named Dallas High School, like Plano and Garland,. And why doesn’t it have many regionally named ones like West Plano, West Mesquite, etc? – S.G.
Well, Dallas does have a “Dallas High School,” you just may never have seen and realized that you’re looking at Dallas High School. And as far as the lack of locationally named high schools, that’s because DISD (Dallas Independent School District) is a large urban school district meaning we have too many high schools to name them all after directions but also kinda because of the overt racism of the school board in the 50’s and 60’s.
So first let me show you Dallas High School and prove it’s real.
This is Dallas High School built in 1907 in what’s now downtown Dallas.
Why don’t you know about it? Because this is how Dallas High School currently looks.
It’s been vacant for 15 years and has a history of being a doomed property.
Dallas High School, Dallas’s only white high school when it opened 1907, only lasted a short number of years as the main high school. By 1916 it was replaced. In 1928 it was turned into Dallas’s main technical high school, and in 1942 named Cozier Tech. It operated as Cozier until 1975 when that school closed. It then began operating as the Business and Management magnet school. Which closed in 1995. Notice a trend.
DISD gave up on operating a school out of the building and sold it in 1998. The investor who bought the building, a Californian named Robert Yu had grand plans of building an office tower, or apartments, or more likely a parking garage. However, preservatist got in the way (rightfully so), and saved the building from demolition. The Californian investor did not take this kindly, he wanted to build his parking garage. I mean the case went to court, he was seriously pissed off. So much so that he’s prevented anything from developing on the property. Partly out of spite and partly because he wants a very large sum of money to sell. Either way it still sits there vacant as when it was purchased 15 years ago.
But back to the locational high school and racism question. See Dallas ran out of directions in 1922 when it named North Dallas High School (note-in 1922 “North” Dallas was considered McKinney Ave and Haskell). So when naming High Schools, particularly in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, Dallas went in three different directions and it was prompted by the racism of the Dallas School Board.
If it was an all white school, it was named after a conservative national or local person. A minority or black school, it was named after a generic liberal meant to appease the minorities. But in a neighborhood that was a little mixed, one that DISD couldn’t bus it way out of, and one with a minority population that might clamor for a non-conservative leader or non-white person, the school district went with a geographic feature. This is why high schools, like Bryan Adams, W.T. White or even Carter are named for local conservative leaders. Because they were white Christian neighborhoods, at least at the time they were built.
Schools like Booker T. Washington (the first black high school when segragation was legal) and Franklin Roosevelt (another black high school, nuilt when segragation wasn’t legal but the school board refused to accept it) were named for people that would appease African American community at the time.
Please be happy with Roosevelt and stop protesting…please
And then schools like Skyline (Hispanic) and Hillcrest (Jewish) had geographic names, because the School board couldn’t risk naming the schools after a person and ending up with Cesar Chavez or Elie Wiesel High School.
We do have Cesar Chavez “Learning Center” in East Dallas though
And if you’re questioning this or thinking that the school board would never do something this outlandish, consider the fact that the school board faught desegregation so hard, that it was invloved in lawsuits throughout the 1970’s fighting desegregation. And that the school district was not fully desegregated, until…2003. Fifty years after Brown v Board of Education. You can thank the man with the awesome nickname below for finally desegregating the schools. The law magnet high school is named after him.
Judge “Barefoot” Sanders