VIVIAN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A group is calling for the removal of the Rebel mascot at North Caddo High School.
An online petition has more than 2,376 signatures. It was put together by current and former students.
Petition organizers say the Rebel flag is no longer flown at the school and they want the high school to get a mascot that the school can be proud of and actually display.
“Generation after generation has requested the removal of the purely, racist, Confederate Rebel mascot at North Caddo Magnet High School in Vivian, LA. This racist, Confederate Rebel mascot began its racist origins with the establishment of North Caddo Magnet High in 1955, but the racist, Confederate Rebel mascot has no place in a government-funded public school with children.
Generation after generation has asked that the racist, Confederate Rebel mascot be removed from North Caddo Magnet High School as it is a constant reminder of deeply institutionalized racism in the South. The racist, Confederate Rebel mascot is a constant reminder of the deadly threat to Black students. The racist, Confederate Rebel mascot is a constant reminder of the pain and suffering of racial injustice that Black Americans have endured since being enslaved.
Generation after generation after generation… Parents have requested the removal of the racist Rebel mascot from North Caddo Magnet High School. Their children have requested the removal of the racist, Confederate Rebel mascot. Their grandchildren have requested the removal of the racist, Confederate Rebel mascot. When will this racial injustice end? Blacks have already endured this racist, Confederate Rebel for 50 years.
As former graduates, current students, and friends of North Caddo Magnet High School, we demand that the racist, Confederate Rebel mascot be immediately removed so that this generational battle can finally end the institutionalized racism, deadly threats, pain, and suffering that has incurred at North Caddo Magnet High School since desegregation occurred nearly 50 years ago at this Caddo Parish, Louisiana school.”
Caddo Schools released a statement in response to the online petition:
“Members of the Caddo Parish School Board and the Superintendent are aware of a petition calling for a change of the mascot at North Caddo High School. The Board Members are currently reviewing and verifying the petition and its signatures in alignment with Board policy. The district has worked over the years in collaboration with the North Caddo community to address concerns which includes prohibiting the use of Colonel Rebel as well as any symbols such as the Confederate flag with the most recent action taking place in 2009. Since this time, no such images have been used in affiliation with the school. In these previous conversations, community members and alumni sought to maintain the Rebel name and change its meaning and the Board respected that request. The district looks forward to a thoughtful discussion of how to best represent North Caddo and the community it serves.
The Caddo Parish School Board continues to strive to create an inclusive, diverse learning environment for students and staff alike.”