Debate over name changes stir at Midland Lee and Sul Ross State University

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 10:30 PM CDT
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(KOSA) -

Thursday evening a group of students gathered outside Robert E. Lee High School in Midland asking to keep “Lee” in the school’s name.

Now another debate over name changes is emerging at Sul Ross State University.

“Racism is not dead,” one woman said in a Facebook video looking out across the Lee protest. “It is not dead.”

The protest held outside a committee meeting at Midland Lee High School sparked intense debate.

“It was not named after a general of the civil war. It was named after his education. It was over a college. It was an educator. It was what he did after that.”

The protesters say they don’t want the “Robert E.” portion of the name either but want to rebrand Lee to mean legacy, equality and education.

However, opponents say that won’t cut it.

“Everything Lee has to go because there’s only one Lee that’s been represented in 59 years and we can’t just magically change the meaning,” Courtney Ratliff said.

Meanwhile a similar conversation is starting at Sul Ross State University.

We spoke to the school’s president who said he had a meeting with a few football players who want to change Sul Ross' name because it’s named after another confederate general.

“This is a center for diversity of thought and opinion and it’s a center of education. That’s what we do here is talk things out.”

The president also said changing a state university’s name is much more complicated than a high school because that decision would have to be agreed on by legislators.

We also reached out to the Sul Ross football players, but the athletic department said they were unavailable.

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