Tennessee school votes to keep Confederate-linked mascot

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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WINCHESTER (AP) — A middle Tennessee high school has voted to keep its mascot despite calls for the Confederate-linked symbol and fight song to be removed.
A measure before the Franklin County school board to change Franklin County High School from the Rebels, a mascot represented by a Confederate man, failed 3-5 Monday, news outlets reported, citing Superintendent Stanley Bean.
The school has used the mascot since the 1950s and also sings the “Dixie” fight song at sporting events, news outlets said. A march to the Board of Education building was planned over the weekend to call for the board to remove the mascot and song, The Tullahoma News reported.
Some students, teachers and community members in Winchester have called for the school to retire the mascot as protests against racial injustice have taken place across the country. The rebel is commonly depicted as a Confederate soldier or supporter, and critics argue it can be a symbol of racism.
Franklin County resident Shanae Williams addressed the school board during a meeting in September, urging them to strip the school of its mascot. She said the Rebel flag represents hate, and the song “Dixie” was founded in racism, according to The Tullahoma News.

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