Community gathers around Lee Middle School in light of potential name change

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SAN ANGELO, Texas – Members of the community gathered today on Sherwood Way in front of Robert E. Lee Middle school around 9 A.M. San Angelo resident Debbie Cross organized the event in hopes to raise awareness for San Angelo ISD’s push to change the name and the Rebel mascot of the middle school.

Robert E. Lee middle school has been established for more than 70 years within the community of San Angelo. Robert E. Lee was an American Confederate General during the Civil War. With recent events sparking protests and movements across the nation in regards to civil rights, many members of the community have voiced their concern with the school’s name and mascot, citing that it is not culturally appropriate in 2020 and can be deemed offensive to students, parents and faculty of African American descent.

The school board heard these concerns and began pondering what the next step should be for Lee Middle School. The community of San Angelo has been divided on the subject which led to today’s peaceful rally outside of the school. Debbie organized the event because she believes that the history and namesake of the school should be left alone. “Robert E. Lee has been here since 1949. There’s never been a problem with this school. I went to school here in ’70, ’71 and ’72. My daughter went to school here. I have 2 grandchildren going here. We love Lee. We’re proud Lee Rebels and we need to keep the name not just for the history and pride of it but for the cost and if we let this happen, it’s not going to stop. We have to preserve our history,” Cross stated.

Over a dozen community members showed up to the rally to voice their opinion on the subject. Many individuals brought hand made signs with personal statements on them and others waved the American and Texas flag along the side of Sherwood Way as drivers passed by. Members of the community could be heard honking in agreement with the message as they drove by.

The community was encouraged to stop at the rally and sign a petition that was started in hopes to convince San Angelo Independent School District to leave Robert E. Lee as the name of the Middle School to preserve history and tradition. When asked how successful the petition has been, Cross was not sure of an exact number of signatures so far but urged that the petition has made its way all over the city of San Angelo. This petition is in opposition to the original petition created by San Angelo resident, Jessie Ramon, which led to the discussion of the name change to begin with.

The event ended around 11 A.M. today and organizers were happy with the direction and outcome of the gathering. No individuals were harmed during the rally and police presence was not needed.

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