IDEA Allan school sheds name after learning of Confederate origin

IDEA Allan campus sign

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On July 1, IDEA Allan public charter school officially became IDEA Montopolis, after it was brought to the campus’ attention that the school was named after a Confederate Army officer. 

“It was agreed upon that a name change was warranted,” the school said in a statement posted on its website.

“The new school name — IDEA Montopolis — embodies the spirit, diversity and history of the school’s surrounding communities and the values of IDEA Public Schools,” the statement continued.

The school, which says it will keep its bulldog mascot, is located at 1701 Vargas Rd., near the intersection of East Riverside Drive and Montopolis Drive.

Founded in 2012, IDEA Montopolis partnered with the Austin Independent School District for one year before ending that relationship, while keeping the Allan name. 

John T. Allan, who died in 1888, is described in the Texas State Historical Association handbook as the “father of industrial education in Texas.” He was also a lawyer, justice of the peace and state treasurer.

The change is part of a national wave of renamings of schools with ties to the Confederacy, including the renaming of Austin’s Robert E. Lee Elementary to Russell Lee Elementary in 2016.

In February of this year, the AISD board voted to start the renaming process for five district properties with names tied to the Confederacy, including the original IDEA Allan location in east Austin, known as the John T. Allan Facility. 

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