The NAACP is pushing for Parkwood High School in Monroe to change its mascot because the organization says the Rebel is offensive and gives way to bullying.
said Nathel Hailey, of the NAACP.
A committee made up of parents, teachers and school administrators tried changing the mascot three years ago but a student survey showed an overwhelming 70 percent wanted to keep it. But the NAACP says the mascot doesn’t fairly represent all the students at Parkwood, a school where African-American students are the minority.
“I just cannot think of any positive connotation that comes out of the word Rebel,”
Parkwood parent Archie Hansley said.
Gerald Freeman, also the parent of a Parkwood student, says the mascot of nearly 50 years should not be changed because students already voted against it.
Two other schools, Monroe High and South Stanly High, changed their Rebel mascots at the request of the community, and Hansley says that’s what it’s going to take at Parkwood – the community, not the students, having its say.
“If we continue to go by the survey as it was done this year, I feel it will never change,” he said.
A Facebook Group has been created in favor of keeping the Rebel mascot the way it is. There are nearly 300 members, consisting of Parkwood students and alumni. The group posted on its page that “a Rebel by definition is to resist or rise against some authority, control or tradition” and that “you can be a rebel against anything.”
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