The Great Divide

Why Students Went From Panthers to Jaguars


Photo by Gabriela Whitt

MHS students split halfway into HHS. Dividing the schools. – Made in Canva

Midlothian High School students have transferred to Heritage in this 2022-23 school year due to rezoning, but not many students know exactly why they’ve been rezoned. A series of interviews has been conducted to understand why they were transferred to Heritage.

Some of the transfers were cut and dry for the students, like Hannah Tupper (10). The former MHS student was easily transferred due to where she lives. 

“I was just rezoned because my house is really close by. It’s pretty much right across from the school,” Tupper said.

Aiden Bruce (10) has his own ideas about the change as well.

“I think that the school [Heritage] wanted to be 5a and that they knew that MHS had more than enough students, so they took some of us,” Bruce said.

The transfers were caused by the populations of MHS and Heritage, which were known for being uneven compared to each other last year. The crowds were out of hand, to the point where students at times had trouble getting to their classes before the bell.

“I couldn’t get to my classes within the time limit that we had at the beginning of the year,” Tupper said.

Tupper’s experience with the crowds was shared with her peers as well, including student Clayton Willis (10) who had the same troubles.

“It was pretty crowded, hallways were really packed,” Willis said.

There are lots of differences between HHS and MHS, one of them being the quality of the school. Some of the school’s bathrooms were broken or out of service. Some even had things missing, such as soap dispensers, stall doors, sinks, toilets, and even pieces of the urinals.

“Bunch of kids stealing stupid things like soap dispensers, sinks, toilets, stall doors, pieces of the urinal, just whatever,” Willis said.

Tupper also had troubles with the bathrooms as well. 

“More than half the bathrooms didn’t work. I’m not even lying. Sometimes I would go into a bathroom and literally none of them work. Sometimes there’s just missing stalls,” Tupper said.

Although, missing items in the bathrooms isn’t where the differences stop. Students had Advisory opposed to HHS TASSEL, but it wasn’t as free as TASSEL. In Advisory, students would be limited to their classes, do work, and not talk for roughly 30 minutes each day.

“We just had Advisory where you had to stay in your class, do work, and don’t talk for like half an hour,” Tupper said.

The transfer seems to be a new decision, but in reality this has been planned out for over 6 years now. In 2016 a bond was passed to expand HHS to be roughly the same size as MHS, 2,500 capacity. In the 2021-22 school year, MHS was over 2,000 students while HHS was nearly 1,150, so that’s why HHS was under construction the last three years. 

“I could not get anywhere without having to wait on people to move, and there was one main hall where nobody could do anything,” Bruce said.

Now that the construction was finished it was possible to even out the population of the two schools, so MISD held a meeting where the zones were renegotiated and finalized into what they are this 2022-23 school year. Both MHS and HHS will be schooling roughly 1,600 students each, and the school’s should grow evenly from here on out.

Some MHS students that were moved to HHS were looking forward to attending Heritage. 

“Honestly I just wanted to come to Heritage. I felt like it would be better,” Willis said.

On the other hand, some MHS students miss their old school and still want to attend MHS. Brandon Hannon (10) counts himself as one of these students.

 “MHS is better,” Hannon said.

Regardless of why these students were moved, most are happy with their new school, and about the new opportunities that HHS offers.

“This school is really nice compared to MHS I would say,” Willis said.