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'The time is now' | Union County School Board votes to rename rebel mascot

Parkwood High School is now seeking input on replacement names from teachers, students and community.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — For years Parkwood High School in Union County has carried the rebel name as the school mascot, but Tuesday night with a 6-2 vote, Board of Education members approved that mascot will soon be renamed.

An online petition created by Parkwood alum Samuel Robinson called for the name change and first caught the board’s attention with close to 4,000 signatures of support. 

The board later added the topic to Tuesday’s night’s meeting agenda to discuss further.

“I tie the rebel to hatred  — I tie it to defying authority,” Board Member Candice Sturdivant said. “They [Parkwood HighSchool] need a fresh start, remove the rebel name.”

A majority of the board agreed based on the district’s guidelines and policies for naming a school mascot that states “all mascots should respect cultural differences and values.”

“Members of the board who voted to change the name sent a really strong and clear message to the Union County community tonight that racial insensitivity has no place in our school system and we are hoping to move the Parkwood in a much more progressive direction,” creator of the online petition and Parkwood alum Samuel Robinson said.

No new name for the Parkwood mascot has been decided just yet. 

The next step is for the superintendent to reach out to the Parkwood principal to create a school committee of teachers, parents, students and community members to consider a new name.