Some parents in the Frisco Independent School District want a name change for the new Lebanon High School, saying the school set to open next year shouldn't share its name with the Middle East nation and that the community should get a say in naming it.
A group of eight parents met with NBC 5 Friday as they push for the district to rename the new school on Ohio Drive. They say they were originally told it would be called Freedom High School and are disappointed in what they call a less patriotic, and potentially confusing, choice.
The district says Lebanon High School got its name from a community of farmers who settled near the old Shawnee Trail half a century before the city of Frisco was established, the district says. The naming committee picked its name to honor the area's heritage.
But parent Liffey Skender wonders if that reference still resonates today. “There are a lot of people out there that are not happy with this name,” she said.
Skender voiced her concerns at a board of trustees meeting in December and says that since then, she’s received about 100 emails and two dozen phone calls from others who share them.
Robert Mays is another parent who shares her concerns. "For a high school name, it doesn’t fit this community,” Mays said.
The parents say they simply want the district to put the name change to a vote, in a community already dealing with steady growth and subsequent redistricting.
“All we’re asking for is a voice, to be heard and have an open mind,” Skender said. She said the district could promote ownership in the new campus by giving students and parents a chance to be involved in the naming process.
Her group is rallying support to speak at the next school board meeting on Feb. 9.
The district told NBC 5, however, that it did not plan to change the overall name of the school. It plans to modify the name, but only to add another word like “community,” “central,” “memorial” or “trail" to it, so the school won't be confused with Liberty High School, which already goes by LHS.
A district spokesperson told NBC 5 that while the district has tweaked school names before, it has never abandoned an overall concept name for a school.