Rebel School Nickname Under Attack in Monroe
From: “northcarolinasouth”, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: July 17, 2009
Subject: [NCSouth] Rebel School Nickname Under Attack in Monroe
The Monroe (NC) Enquirer-Journal reports that Union County NAACP President Nathan Hailey will continue to try to ban the "Rebel" nickname at Parkwood High School, despite a vote by the Parkwood student body that was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the "Rebel" name. The complete article follows.
NAACP PROMISES TO KEEP FIGHTING ‘REBEL’ NICKNAME
By Billy Ball
Local NAACP President Nathel Hailey vowed this week to continue a fight to banish the "Rebel" nickname at Parkwood High School, despite the Union County Board of Education’s decision to leave the decision to the school.
"I have not told anybody that I have backed off," Hailey said Wednesday, adding that he will "absolutely" keep up the pressure on Union County school administrators.
Union County leaders with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People want to scuttle the nickname for its association with Confederate Civil War soldiers, much to the consternation of hundreds of locals backing the school’s longtime moniker.
The "Rebel" name remained with the school after administrators dispatched its mascot, a Confederate soldier, several years ago and changed school colors from blue, gray and white–colors that could be associated with the Confederate uniform–for a simple blue and white scheme.
The Board of Education passed on the controversial issue last month, saying it’s a choice best left to Parkwood’s site-based committee of administrators, teachers and parents.
Hailey said the NAACP is "talking with some people" about the group’s strategy, although he declined to elaborate on its plans or advisers.
The national NAACP organization is not involved in the debate as of this week, he said.
Hailey said he hasn’t spoken with Parkwood principal Jan Hollis, although he rejected statements from Board of Education members that the site-based committee must decide the nickname.
"That’s not exactly the truth," Hailey said Wednesday. "Because the person that made the decision to change the solder was a principal, and that was his own decision."
Hollis said such issues were anticipated by the committee, which polled students this spring on a prospective name change.
"The students voted overwhelmingly not to change it," she said.
The committee, which includes Hollis, plans to put the debate to a student vote every three years, she said.
"It’s not a principal decision or an administrative decision," Hollis added.
Residents have been outspoken on the dispute since it was raised several weeks ago. In late June, nearly 900 people joined a group on social networking Web site Facebook dedicated to defending the nickname.