MISD to discuss lawsuit, interim superintendent spot

Local News

MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Tonight, in a special meeting of the Midland ISD Board of Trustees, members will discuss the two biggest topics facing the district.

The renaming of Midland Lee and the interim superintendent spot are both on the agenda for the special meeting.

As you may recall, the board placed Orlando Riddick on administrative leave back in August and began the termination process. The District’s Chief Financial Officer Darrell Dodds was later named the acting superintendent.

Tonight, the board plans to interview candidates for the interim position and could name the finalist.

Also on the agenda for Monday night is the lawsuit filed against the district regarding the renaming of Midland Lee High School.

The suit, filed by Jeremy Shane Mansell, claims the district violated the Texas Election Code, the Texas State Constitution and the Texas Education Code in the renaming process. You can read the full lawsuit here.

MISD Board President Rick Davis responded to the suit saying:

“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.”

MISD Board President Rick Davis

The virtual meeting will take place tonight at 5:30 p.m.

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