SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo’s Equity Alliance supporters gathered at Robert E. Lee Middle School Saturday morning to protest in favor of changing the school’s name.
Jessie Ramon, a founder of the group, said it’s important to rename the school because when it was named in 1949, the school was segregated. The school has since been desegregated and he thinks it’s time to embrace the change.
Ramon also said, “I think it will be an extremely positive effect in terms of bringing San Angelo together, providing that inclusivity and allowing the students that leave this school a better sense of pride with being disassociated with someone who fought to keep slaves.”
Some supporters attended the event with signs that read "STOP WHITE WASHING HISTORY" or "EMBRACE CHANGE" while others honked as they drove by to show their support.
Lana Premo supports the name change for the school and attended the event.
“We feel like there’s people in the community that it affects and we’re listening to those people. We want to help make the change to make San Angelo a better place,” said Premo.
Premo also said she thinks it’s important to change the name because it doesn’t reflect the City’s diversity.
Some people in the community oppose the name change. At a rally held Saturday, Aug. 29 community volunteer and organizer Debbie Cross said she feels it's important to keep the name because “it’s our history and there is so much pride in the school.”
Ginger Moore also attended the rally and cited the cost associated with the name change as one of the reasons to keep the name.
Jessie Ramon said the San Angelo Independent School District’s engaging equity process has been gathering input, feedback and opinions from the community.
The school district board will be tasked with deciding whether the name will change or remain the same.