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Robert E. Lee High School Drug Riot Of 1975


icepickphil

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This occured during my senior year at Robt. E. Lee and my memories are a little sketchy. I'd welcome anyone elses memories of this event.

The riots occured in October of '75 in the parking field across from the school on Beverlyhill St.. The field was a drug market where students gathered as early as an hour before school to party. HPD undercover narcotics officers had been "staking out" the field for several weeks since school had started that September. They also placed several undercover (dressed up to look like school students) in the field to purchase drugs--which they did.

Several drug busts were made that October in the field including one bust of a 16 year old boy selling pezz candy LSD. After one of the busts several students began to attack one of the police cars. It had it's windows broken by rocks, etc. Several arrests of students were made.

Ultimately the drug busts succeeded in stopping the drug use and selling in the empty dirt lot parking field. The field is now part of the parking lot for Pappasitos Mexican Restaurant on Richmond.

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This occured during my senior year at Robt. E. Lee and my memories are a little sketchy. I'd welcome anyone elses memories of this event.

The riots occured in October of '75 in the parking field across from the school on Beverlyhill St.. The field was a drug market where students gathered as early as an hour before school to party. HPD undercover narcotics officers had been "staking out" the field for several weeks since school had started that September. They also placed several undercover (dressed up to look like school students) in the field to purchase drugs--which they did.

Several drug busts were made that October in the field including one bust of a 16 year old boy selling pezz candy LSD. After one of the busts several students began to attack one of the police cars. It had it's windows broken by rocks, etc. Several arrests of students were made.

Ultimately the drug busts succeeded in stopping the drug use and selling in the empty dirt lot parking field. The field is now part of the parking lot for Pappasitos Mexican Restaurant on Richmond.

Actually the bust and the riot took place in October 1974. The 16 year old was arrested with several other people the week before. The very next week, the police came back and arrested some more people. Right after that is when the other students attacked them.

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I wonder if this riot was one of the factors that caused Lee to go downhill in the 1980's.

I know today almost no Uptown parent would dare send his or her kid to Lee.

No that riot did not cause Lee to go downhill. It's the surrounding apartments in the Flea Market area that feed into that school. The last time I was there, it was not a good place to be at night!

Did you know that Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) graduated from Lee? Ron Stone, as well.

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No that riot did not cause Lee to go downhill. It's the surrounding apartments in the Flea Market area that feed into that school. The last time I was there, it was not a good place to be at night!

Did you know that Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) graduated from Lee? Ron Stone, as well.

He showed up at his high school reunion..There is a web site somewhere that has a

few pix.. I've got them on one of my drives somewhere.. He was decked out in his african

wig as usual.. I've oft speculated that the main reason he wears that thing is that he's

probably going bald... :/

MK

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  • 1 month later...
Here's a pic I dug up of Robert E. Lee High School in the early 1980s.

It's all I have:

2a7id20.jpg

Adding a few more from Lee, courtesy of the 1968 yearbook. The first photo shows the field across from the school where the '74 drug bust occurred. Looking toward the upper-right corner is the Hillcroft-Richmond intersection. The landscape has changed! Following this photo are a few of Billy Gibbons, who was a senior that year and had a band called the Moving Sidewalks. Their song 99th Floor, which Gibbons is performing in one of the yearbook photos, was also recorded by the 13th Floor Elevators, one of the first psychedelic rock bands. Later that year, Gibbons and The Moving Sidewalks opened for Jimi Hendrix on the Texas leg of the Hendrix tour that year, and Hendrix began mentioning Gibbons as one of his favorite new guitarists.

For contrast, I added a photo of what Gibbons looks like in more recent years with ZZ Top.

lee_68.jpg

gibbons_photo2.jpg

gibbons_photo1.jpg

Gibbons_ZZ_Top.jpg

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1968- that must have been the year that the first addition was completed because, in the picture above, the lawn on the east front looks newly planted. HISD did a great job matching the new wing with the ugliness of the original building. You can hardly tell the difference. Then they added more on about 15 years later and it too is ugly. That school did not have one interesting feature or pleasant space.

Many of the students took drugs to avoid some of the pain of the living hell that was life at Lee. Was this drug riot when the T. H. Rogers 9th grade student was killed with the baseball bat? His name was Randy Harvey and I think he had gone over to visit Lee when it happened. A terrible, terrible place and time.

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Wow ! That photo of the empty lot in front of Lee is amazing.

Amazing how much its changed over the years.

I went to Lee between 92-94, CLASS of 94 ! Im glad to be out of there. Its even more amazing to look at the changing demographics of the schools students over the years. I am a white male, and was a minority in the early 90's, I can only imagine what its like there now.

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Adding a few more from Lee, courtesy of the 1968 yearbook. The first photo shows the field across from the school where the '74 drug bust occurred. Looking toward the upper-right corner is the Hillcroft-Richmond intersection. The landscape has changed! Following this photo are a few of Billy Gibbons, who was a senior that year and had a band called the Moving Sidewalks. ...

For contrast, I added a photo of what Gibbons looks like in more recent years with ZZ Top.

Great pics - THANKS!

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Great pics bookman thanks.

I graduated from both T. H. Rogers and Robert E. Lee ('69-'75) and this is the first I've ever heard of a Randy Harvey getting killed. Anymore details?

And was being a student at Lee in the 70s that bad?..a "living hell"? I had friends when I was in high school that went to Westbury, Milby, and Lamar and from what they told be about their schools it was just like Lee. Sure being in a graduating class of over 600 students sucked. Thanks to Houston's urban sprawl kids from so many neighborhoods/areas went to the school. A kid from Tanglewood had classmates from Dairy Ashford...they might as well have lived in different towns. You NEVER saw them after school around town.

The student body of Lee in the early-mid 1970s was divided into the groups kickers, freaks, jets, and the always present nerds/geeks. Maybe it was a different scene at privates like Kinkaid or St. Johns back then but I'm sure it was the same at all of the west side high schools (Sharpestown, etc.). This was the day when there were much fewer private schools in Houston.

1968- that must have been the year that the first addition was completed because, in the picture above, the lawn on the east front looks newly planted. HISD did a great job matching the new wing with the ugliness of the original building. You can hardly tell the difference. Then they added more on about 15 years later and it too is ugly. That school did not have one interesting feature or pleasant space.

Many of the students took drugs to avoid some of the pain of the living hell that was life at Lee. Was this drug riot when the T. H. Rogers 9th grade student was killed with the baseball bat? His name was Randy Harvey and I think he had gone over to visit Lee when it happened. A terrible, terrible place and time.

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No that riot did not cause Lee to go downhill. It's the surrounding apartments in the Flea Market area that feed into that school. The last time I was there, it was not a good place to be at night!

Did you know that Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) graduated from Lee? Ron Stone, as well.

I agree 100% - no 200%! It was the demographics that killed it. I attended Lee in 1980-1981. It was rather a rough place already. And it wasn't just the surrounding apartments near the flea market. Lee's boundaries extended all the way down to Bellaire Blvd. North of Bellaire & West of 59 (maybe east of 59 too?) were Lee HS. South of Bellaire was Sharpstown HS.

Yes, it was Ron Stone Jr. that attended. I think he was a Senior when I was a freshman. My wife has a yrbook from that yr. Maybe I can dig up some pics.

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Wow, this is going back a long time. I graduated in 76 (just attended my 30th reunion but that's another story) and I was there when it happened. I though it was 75 but I could be wrong but I do remember seeing the student bashing out the police car window for which he was eventually arrested for doing. There were a lot of drugs there and a lot of students including myself just left for the rest of the day. The next day my cousin left campus for lunch and was arrested for possesing some pills. These were actually legitimate perscription drugs but he had carried them in a plastic container which wasn't the original one the pills came in. Charges were dropped, the police were just trying to get all of the students attention.

The young man that was killed was from Lee from what I remember and was the older brother of a student at Rogers who had gone there with a bat to confront a student who was bullying his younger brother. The Vice Principle at Rogers was holding him down when the other student grabbed the bat and hit him. Such a tragedy.

I just moved out of the neighborhood next to Lee last year and it definitely was the demographics which changed Lee. I wouldn't let my kids go to Lee so I had them zoned to Westside through the magnet school program.

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  • 1 month later...

Randy Harvey was a student at Lee but had come to Rogers after school to avenge a fight his younger brother had gotten into a day or so before. When Randy confronted the kid who had beaten up his brother the principal tackled him from behind and the kid grabbed the baseball bat Randy brought and hit him in the head with it while he was on the ground.

Great pics bookman thanks.

I graduated from both T. H. Rogers and Robert E. Lee ('69-'75) and this is the first I've ever heard of a Randy Harvey getting killed. Anymore details?

And was being a student at Lee in the 70s that bad?..a "living hell"? I had friends when I was in high school that went to Westbury, Milby, and Lamar and from what they told be about their schools it was just like Lee. Sure being in a graduating class of over 600 students sucked. Thanks to Houston's urban sprawl kids from so many neighborhoods/areas went to the school. A kid from Tanglewood had classmates from Dairy Ashford...they might as well have lived in different towns. You NEVER saw them after school around town.

The student body of Lee in the early-mid 1970s was divided into the groups kickers, freaks, jets, and the always present nerds/geeks. Maybe it was a different scene at privates like Kinkaid or St. Johns back then but I'm sure it was the same at all of the west side high schools (Sharpestown, etc.). This was the day when there were much fewer private schools in Houston.

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  • 4 years later...

I was in the 9th grade at T.H. Rogers when Theodore Steele killed the Harvey kid, whom I did not know. However, I knew his little brother, John, well. I was stuck in Ms. Robey's classroom after school getting reamed for something when the thing took place right outside the window. Harvey had hit Steele several times with a baseball bat when Larry Bergen (who went on to become Principal at Lee the next year) ran over and tackled him. Steele picked up the bat and kicked Bergen in the face, moving him out of the way, and hit Harvey in the head with the bat. I ran into Steele on the Walls Unit of TDCJ in 1987, He had been released and came back with 75 years for robbery and attempted murder. Just looked him up on the TDCJ web site and he is still there, although he has been elligible for parole since 2005. Don't think he is in any danger of getting out anytime soon.

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  • The title was changed to Robert E. Lee High School Drug Riot Of 1975

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