Petition to Retain Confederate General's Name on San Angelo ISD Middle School Begins
SAN ANGELO, TX — After much outrage from many corners of San Angelo, a citizen has initiated a petition to keep Confederate General Robert E. Lee on San Angelo ISD’s middle school.
“We are tired of everything being changed because of History. It won't change history. If people want change then they need to change themselves. History won't do it for them. Keep the name of our schools. Enough is enough! If the petition to remove is accepted then the petition to keep should be as well,” argued Billie Munguia on the change.org petition.
The petition to retain Lee’s name began two days after the petition to remove the name. Right now, the retention petition trails the petition to remove Lee’s name. The petition to remove Lee’s name has 4,146 electronic signatures.
The decision to rename Robert E. Lee Middle School, 2500 Sherwood Way, rests with the San Angelo ISD Board of Trustees. The seven-member board led by businessman Lanny Layman will have to place the decision about Lee Middle School’s name on the school board’s agenda. So far, no agenda item has surfaced, but the controversy over the school’s name arose only by Friday.
One commenter suggested that if the San Angelo ISD approved a name change of the school, then those opposing it should also actively oppose any and all future school bonds. Bonds require approval by voters at the polls.
San Angelo ISD has three middle schools. Lincoln Middle School, located on the north side of town near Lake View High School was named after President Abraham Lincoln. Glenn Middle School, located near Angelo State University, was named after astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn.
Following the Civl War, on May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to persons who had participated in the rebellion against the United States. The pardon did not include the Confederate leadership, of which General Lee was a part.
This prompted Lee to submit an application for his pardon, which he did on June 13, 1865. The request was ignored. Lee’s request was not granted for 110 years.
It took a joint congressional resolution for Lee’s full rights of citizenship to be restored, albeit posthumously, backdated to June 13, 1865.
At the signing ceremony of Lee’s grant of citizenship, on August 5, 1975, President Gerald Ford remarked, "General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride.”
To many in 2020s San Angelo, however, Lee’s redemption was not enough as they bang the drums claiming the name Lee Middle School is a symbol of systemic racism. Read more on the petition to remove General Robert E. Lee’s name from Lee Middle School here.
To sign a petition:
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