Dueling petitions emerge following decision to change Howell HS Confederate mascot

The decision to change a Monmouth County high school’s Confederate soldier mascot has led to petitions from residents who want to save it and residents who want it gone.

News 12 Staff

Jun 11, 2020, 9:48 AM

Updated 1,447 days ago

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The decision to change a Monmouth County high school’s Confederate soldier mascot has led to petitions from residents who want to save it and residents who want it gone.
Howell High School goes by the name of the Rebels. The name and mascot were meant to represent the southernmost school in the Freehold Regional School District. The name Rebels will remain, but the mascot will change.
Howell High School officials say that the change has been in the works for a while. New sports uniforms are simply adorned with the letter “H” and a contest is underway to design a new logo.
Two petitions have begun to circulate around the town following the decision – one to remove the name and the mascot and another to keep it.
Graduate Randy Thompson says that he is in favor of the change, writing, “Get rid of the culture of celebrating a system that dehumanized people for their skin color.
Tom De, a parent of three Howell students, says, “It never made sense that a school in Yankee territory would have that mascot.”
PHOTOS: Protests Across New Jersey
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But others are not in favor of the change.
Eileen Gleason says, “We’re headed down a very slippery and scary slope.”
Christine Russel writes, “There are many things in everyone’s past we are not proud of, but they made us who we are today.”
The decision comes as statues depicting Confederate soldiers have been taken down across the country in the wake of Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality rallies.
Howell High School’s mascot contest will be open for submissions through June 25.
 


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