High school has cause to keep ‘Rebel’ nickname

Student research says mascot named after Green Mountain Boys, and maybe James Dean

by Guy Page

A Windham County high school/middle school board has opted to keep its controversial school mascot name – the “Rebels.”

According to a news report in the Brattleboro Reformer, Leland and Gray High School (located in the small, northern Windham County town of Townshend) will keep the name as a result of a presentation by eighth graders. The decision was made at a school board meeting Monday night. However, the door has been left open for some rebranding.

“Eighth grade students presented information on the history of the mascot,” reporter Chris Mays wrote. “They said it isn’t linked to the Confederacy in the Civil War, as suggested by the Rutland Area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).”

The ‘Rebel’ name was reportedly criticized by the Rutland NAACP, which wrote in a letter to the state board of education: “The term “Rebel” denotes imagery of what the Native People are often referred to and an image of a confederate soldier rebelling against the north’s perspective to do away with enslaved people. If we are to condemn stereotypes and biases, we must eliminate this way of thinking of America’s past. Black lives matter, we can no longer hold onto these horrific beliefs.”

A recent state law gives the state education authorities the power to investigate and act on mascot names deemed to be racist.

Historical research showed, however, that the ‘rebels’ to whom the mascot name refers are the Green Mountain Boys, rebelling against British colonial authority, the Reformer reported.

The 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean may have influenced the late 1950’s decision, too, the Reformer said.

Categories: Education

12 replies »

  1. Oh no…….What in the world is legislator Dick McCormack going to do???? He knows full well that school districts and the people of Vermont haven’t the capability or sense to name their own school mascots! He knows this especially well, being he is from the slick, deeply corrupted NYC region, btw…..

  2. Good for the students of Leland and Gray and the school board. Apparently they used their intelligence and ability to research to learn the facts rather than blindly submit to the DEI gods as so many have done. Bravo! Let’s hope the “rebranding” includes a statement about independence and having the courage to take a stand against oppression. McCormack wouldn’t know anything about that. He does what he’s told by his party bosses.

  3. Seems the NAACP and Taliban have a lot in common, both try to erase historical items without the knowledge to understand the true meaning.
    sic the destruction of hundred years old Buddha statues by the Taliban and the recent effort by the NAACP to destroy the ” Rebels “.

  4. Bravo for the L & G students! My husband works there and agrees that the students consider themselves rebels against tyranny and injustice. Hey- Jesus was a rebel!

  5. Congratulations Rebels 👏👏It’s history, please don’t erase it. It means no harm.

  6. Did the sheep ( I mean wuffs) in So. Burlington see how Real Vermonters do this??

    • They refer to their town as “SOBU” now, as if it’s an elitist Manhattan neighborhood… what do you think?

  7. I’m still laughing about the NAACP statement about where “rebel” originated-
    Think you meant to say “savages”. We called them “savages”.

    We were the rebels.

    It’s ok. We still see the testing stats and your teens in our news.

  8. I doubt is James dean had anything to do with the name. he was not a popular person in the 1950s, especially in Red Vermont, and among just about everyone, every where who was a normal American.

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