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Ryan Middle School (Houston)

James D. Ryan Middle School was a secondary school located in Houston, Texas, United States. The Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, a magnet middle school, now occupies the campus.

The school, which served grades 6 through 8, is a part of the Houston Independent School District. It served much Third Ward area and a very small portion of Midtown Houston. The campus is south of Downtown Houston, and in proximity to the University of Houston.

Allan Turner of the Houston Chronicle said that the building served as an "educational anchor" for the Third Ward as many professionals in the Third Ward community such as educators, ministers, and lawyers received education in it. Since Ryan's beginning, Turner said that the school's fortunes had risen and fallen as time passed.

Beginning in 1988 Chase Enterprises subsidiary Rangers Insurance Co. assigned employees to tutor Ryan students, funded school supplies and computers for Ryan, and established a scholarship/endowment fund to provide vocational training and/or university educations to Ryan alumni who abstained from recreational drugs, did not get into legal trouble, and graduated from high school; from 1992 to 1999 166 eligible Ryan alumni benefited from the scholarship. Annually the company deposited $150,000 into the scholarship/endowment fund.

After two employees made complaints against McKenzie, an investigation, conducted by HISD's Equal Employment Opportunity office, concluded that he acquired furniture from another employee's office to use in his own office and that he had used profane language during two staff meetings. The investigation also concluded that he made a remark stating that he did not want a homosexual male employee around children due to his sexuality and another stating that he wanted a black male to serve as the assistant principal of the school. McKenzie, a black man, disputed the findings that he made the comments of racial and sexual natures, and he added that he returned the furniture to the employee after initially believing it was HISD property. He accused those filing complaints against him of exhibiting bias towards the principal before him. He filed a complaint against that office of HISD with the federal authorities. He resigned in 2011, after one year of work.

Parents and community leaders protested the proposed closure. A group of parents threatened to occupy the campus if HISD had it closed temporarily. On Monday May 7, 2012 the board removed the proposed closure of Ryan from its agenda.

For the 2013-2014 school year, 119 of the students who attended Ryan during the 6th or 7th grades during the 2012-2013 school year, or 65% of the total of the 2012-2013 6th and 7th grade students, started attending Cullen Middle School. The remaining students began attending other schools.

Several Third Ward area subdivisions, including University Oaks, Oak Manor, University Woods, Washington Terrace, and Riverside Terrace were previously zoned to Ryan Middle School. In addition, the old Ryan Middle School served a small portion of Midtown Houston (the portion south of U.S. Route 59) and a small portion of Neartown.

Beginning in 2010 the former Ryan Middle School required male students to wear ties. Richard Connelly of the Houston Press stated that ties could be used as weapons in fights, since an assailant could grab his victim using his tie. As of 2012 the school still required male students to wear ties.

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