CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – More than 40 people spoke out at a public hearing Tuesday before the Caddo Parish School Board considering a request to change the mascot at North Caddo High School.
The hearing comes after a petition calling for the removal of the Rebel mascot that has represented North Caddo Magnet High School in Vivian for 65 years gathered more than 4,200 signatures.
Petition organizers said the Rebel flag is no longer flown at the school and they want the high school to get a mascot the school can be proud of and actually display.
Most of the comments during the hearing, held by telephone and videoconference, were in favor of changing the mascot. Several described embarrassment at having been represented as Rebels, sharing personal stories about not being able to be proud of their school mascot.
Among the handful opposing the change were two current students at the school, including the senior class president who said the term “Rebel” carries a different meaning than the Rebel represents in history. If the board moves ahead with the change, the students asked that the current class be allowed to choose the school’s new identity.
The board is expected to make a decision on August 10.