'I have kids that don't feel comfortable because of the mascot'
ALBANY, Ore. - One area high school is getting ready to replace its mascot after having it for nearly half a century. The changes come at South Albany High School after concern that the current mascot is associated with the Confederacy.
The current mascot is a Rebel, and the school says that it will finish out the school year under the Rebel name, but will select a new one for the next school year, as well as generations to come.
"So for me, as the building principal, that's the tipping point," said Brent Beveal. "I have kids that don't feel comfortable because of the mascot."
Beveal says the South Albany High School Rebel began as a symbol from the Civil War, seceding from the Union. Over the years, the Confederate Flag was removed from the logo, and the mascot was replaced with just a soldier, but then that was removed from the school as well.
Even now, that wasn't enough for the school/ After Principal Beveal asked the school district permission to change the mascot, the students began to speak up.
"After we started hearing different views from everybody else, I kind of figure, you know, why not just change it, because it's upsetting people," said Allison Filley, a student at South Albany.
However, not everyone is excited about the change.
"I personally didn't want to change it because it was the school mascot for all of those years," said Niccolo Loscatelli, a foreign exchange student at South Albany.
"I'm going to graduate a Rebel, and that's going to stay with me," said Savy Quintana. "I'm always going to consider myself a rebel."
Whether they are in favor or not, the students will be voting for a new mascot, with the top choice being the acronym 'PRIDE,' which they say stands for Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence.
The new mascot will be chosen in mid-May, and the school will then order new uniforms for the sports teams and remove the rebel soldier from the end zone at the football field.