Keep the Rebels name

We, as students, alumni and community members, feel a change of mascot away from the Rebels is unnecessary. As a public institution dedicated to guiding young students into adulthood, Maryville High School has offered athletics as an extracurricular activity that furthers and fosters the growth of the body, as well as the mind, of not just the students competing, but the student body as a whole.  Our athletics program, for as long as memory serves, has always proudly been known as the “Rebels.”  After recently researching this term, we find it has many meanings.  For one, it can mean a person who resists or defies rules or norms or rises up against the powers that be.  A “Rebel” is also a strong willed person who is indisposed to comply with rules, standards, or laws and often branded rebels-just because they don't fall in with a situation - often a prejudiced or unfair or unjust or discriminatory situation.  Amazingly, the name implies and embodies the very reasons that some have for seeking to do away with the name “Rebels.”  Several years ago, the Maryville School Board elected to do away with the confederate flag as it related to Maryville High School.  With all of the racial undertones associated with the flag, this decision, while not agreeable to some, was made and has been accepted.  If it is the flag that still offends, then completely ban it from all sporting events in any form. Currently, Maryville High School does not have a visible mascot.  It has completely removed itself from any semblance to slavery or the confederacy, and only the name “Rebels” remains.  As mentioned previously, this proud name has nothing to do with the confederacy or slavery, but everything to do with standing up against unfairness, unjustness, and discrimination.  These are the very tenets of the movement seeking to remove the name “Rebels” from anything pertaining to Maryville High School, and we the undersigned, feel that it would be a terrible mistake to erase from history this name that is the very essence of diversity!

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