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FIRST ON CBS7: Midland resident sues MISD over changing name of Midland Lee

(KOSA)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 1:49 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - A Midland County resident filed a lawsuit today against the Midland ISD Board of Trustees over the renaming of Robert E. Lee Senior High and Robert E. Lee Freshman.

Jeremy Shane Mansell hopes to get a temporary restraining order against changing the names of the schools – and ultimately a permanent injunction.

Mansell contends the board has not budgeted for all of the changes that could come with a name change – a price tag he says could run from $400,000 to $2,000,000.

That could mean higher taxes for residents.

He also didn’t agree with the board’s online petition early on in the process, saying there was no proof the people that responded actually lived in the district.

The renaming committee came up with five possible new names late last week, including Tall City High School at #1.

We’re told that the list could be culled down to three finalists this week.

Midland ISD Board President Rick Davis released the following statement on the lawsuit:

"Today, I was forwarded a copy of a lawsuit purportedly filed by a Midland County resident concerning the MISD Board of Trustees' July 27, 2020 decision to re-name Robert E. Lee High School and Robert E. Lee Freshman School.  The crux of the suit appears to be that the Board did not have the legal authority to make that decision.  In making that allegation, the Plaintiff refers to statutes that are not applicable to a school board’s school-naming decision.  Contrary to what the Plaintiff alleges, the MISD Board of Trustees has the legal authority to make school-naming decisions just like the MISD Board of Trustees had in 1961 when the school was first named and every year since.

The suit also alleges that MISD unlawfully accepted and considered an online petition regarding the name change. While the Board was aware of petitions both for and against changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School and Freshman School, the Board did not create or receive these petitions.

A recording of the meeting is available at https://www.midlandisd.net/Page/33198, and any member of the public who wished to do so was able to watch the meeting live at midlandisd.net/stream or call in during the public comment period.

Because I have not actually been served with the lawsuit, it is my hope that the Plaintiff will voluntarily choose to dismiss it."

Copyright 2020 KOSA. All rights reserved.

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