School board votes to remove name from Confederate mascot at Union County school

Petition pushes for Confederate mascot to be removed from Parkwood High

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Rebel was the name of the Parkwood High School mascot, which 2020 graduate and student body president Samuel Robinson said is a problem. It was the mascot at the Union County school for nearly 60 years.

The Union County Board of Education voted 6-2 Tuesday night to remove Rebel as the Parkwood High School mascot.

The school will now follow the board’s administrative guidelines to recommend a new mascot.

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“During the foundation of the school in the early years, the Rebels mascot was literally a Confederate soldier who is literally seen holding the Confederate flag over his shoulder,” Robinson said last week. “Now, this has been rolled back in years past, but we believe at this time, it is now time to finally make change and eradicate the Rebels name altogether.”

Robinson launched a Change.org petition to remove the name.

"Rebel was never an appropriate mascot, and it certainly is not in the year 2020," the petition reads.

“And it’s unquestionable that we should no longer be asking our African American athletes in our community to wear the word “Rebels” on their jersey when those were the very people who fought to keep their ancestors enslaved,” Robinson said.

The issue came up at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, and it will be discussed in depth at next week’s meeting.

Parkwood High hasn’t had a physical mascot for a while. No one has been in costume at games or other events.

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