Midland ISD responds to petition created to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School

MIDLAND -- Midland ISD released the following statement regarding a social media petition to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School:

The Midland ISD Board of Trustees and district administration is aware of the national conversation surrounding confederate symbols. The history of Robert E. Lee High School dates back to the late fifties when a three-and-one-half million dollar bond was passed by this community to build a new high school. The Midland ISD school board members at that time named the school after General Robert E. Lee and the campus opened in 1961.

Since that time there have been initiatives to change the name of this high school. Due to recent national events this issue has garnered renewed attention. It is important for this community to understand that board policy guides the naming of any school. The public is welcome to review district policy that guides the naming of school buildings, campuses, facilities and installations [CS (Regulation)]. District policy can be reviewed by visiting our website www.midlandisd.net.

Currently, reports of several social media campaigns requesting support both for and against a change have gained popularity online. Board President Rick Davis commented, “I understand the sensitivity of this issue, however it is still my impression that this community wants us to continue to focus all our time and resources in improving education for all students. We are making significant progress in that regard and I think we would be well-served in continuing to dedicate all our attention in continuing to do so.”

Midland ISD Superintendent of Schools Orlando Riddick commented, “I don't find that a petition on social media is directly related to the will of the Midland community. The interesting thing about a social media petition, is that it can be agreed to, responded from, and "signed" by anyone in the world, related to or not related to our community. At this time, I will focus our attention on the academic and financial outcomes our constituents have clearly voiced.”