Campfire 7: School Spirit
Metz Elementary is one of Austin ISD’s oldest schools, established in 1916 on Willow Street in East Austin. At that time, this area was considered to be on the outskirts of East Austin. The School Board that year decided that Spanish-speaking students in that area should attend a separate school where their needs could be better met. In an unprecedented move, many of the Mexican-American parents protested this decision and appealed to the school board to change their decision. The other school was several miles away making transportation extremely difficult and the parents felt that if segregated, their children would not have the same opportunities as the English-speaking students. The School Board quietly dropped the issue and Spanish- speaking students were allowed to attend Metz Elementary School.
Metz Elementary continued to serve students in the community for the next 7 and a half decades. Just imagine, this school was educating our youth during the First World War, World War II , the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. This school was witness to 14 different Presidents during that span of time.
In 1989 the school was deemed to be too small and too dilapidated to fit he needs of the community. The old school was demolished in September 1990 and a new school was built in its place and opened in 1992.
Today, Metz is rumored to be the most haunted school in Austin. So much so that when you search Metz Elementary on the internet, some of the first things you’ll see pop up are the articles detailing it’s long-standing haunted history. Tonight we’ll hear from former teachers, students and even those who once stepped foot in the old building, and the countless unexplained experiences they had in this historic school.
Metz Elementary School, photograph, Date Unknown; https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth125274/
University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.