MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2 / Fox 24) – Along with those in the community, members of the Midland City Council are now publicly showing their support in renaming Midland Lee High School.
Last week, the Midland ISD board of trustees, voted six to one in favor of renaming Robert E. Lee High School and Freshman High School. John Norman, Midland City Councilman for District 2, said this change is long overdue.
“That’s one thing Midland is kind of behind on is change,” Norman said. ” You know Midland doesn’t like to change, but I think change is good.”
Not all Midlanders agree on renaming Midland Lee. Norman said he’s received backlash from the public for supporting this change.
“There’s going to be backlash there’s going to be people who are mad,” Midland said. “But doing the right thing overcomes all of that.”
Norman said he understands the people’s frustration in changing Midland Lee’s name and sympathizes with them. But Norman believes the name of a high school should not define where Midlanders come from.
Having graduated from Midland Lee, Norman said changing the name of his Alma mater is a step in the right direction.
“I did graduate from there, I had a great time there. But it wasn’t the name the name of a school that made the memories the we have there,” Norman said “You know I tell people all the time if we had been the Midland Mud Buckets, I would have had the same pride in the school.”
As for a new name, Norman thinks the high school doesn’t have to be named after a person.
“One thing that I always though of was just renaming if after something that Midland is known for,” Norman said. “We have quite a few things that we’re known for but especially oil.”
But above all else, Norman hopes this change will help mend wounds of the past.
“It’s not going to change the hearts of man,” Norman said. “But I think make as statement that the city of Midland or MISD is willing to move in a right direction moving forward.”
The Midland ISD school board also voted to form a Citizens Committee. It will be made up of parents, students and alumni of the two campuses. They will present one to three recommendations to the superintendent who will take it to the board for final approval in October.