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Marfa Public Radio 2021 Continuing Coverage Murrow Submission: Renaming Midland's Robert E. Lee High School

By Marfa Public Radio Staff

Following demonstrations across the nation sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, thousands renewed the fight to change the name of Midland's Robert E. Lee High School by signing an online petition.

In July, the Midland Independent School District school board responded and voted to rename the school and remove Robert E. Lee's name, kicking off a divisive fight among Midlanders. Alumni were enraged the district would try to change their high school's name and many of them fought to salvage what they called the "Lee brand."

For those who wanted to see the confederate general's name removed, the backlash from the community was a sign of how much work still needs to be done in the small West Texas city.

Marfa Public Radio followed the fight over renaming the high school from when it began in the summer until the school board finally chose to rename the school Legacy High School in the fall.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.