Quartz Hill High will no longer use Rebels as mascot
Quartz Hill High in the Antelope Valley has dropped “Rebels” as its mascot. A new mascot has not been selected.
School officials made the announcement Thursday, according to athletic director Aaron Kavanagh.
Football coach James Vondra tweeted about it as well.
As the nation comes to grips with racial and social issues in the wake of recent events, Quartz Hill becomes the second Southland high school to drop Rebels as its mascot. Flintridge Prep in La Cañada Flintridge dropped the use of it last week and will be called the Wolves instead.
The debate about the use of Rebels has been circulating in the Quartz Hill area the last few years, according to Vondra.
Rebels is often a reference to Johnny Rebel or Johnny Reb, a term used during and after the Civil War for a Confederate soldier. Quartz Hill’s logo once included the mascot with a Confederate flag, which was dropped in the 1990s.
“We wanted to change the mascot because we all felt that the name, background and the mascot costume offended many students on campus,” said recent graduate Joshua Collier, former president of the Black Student Union.
Collier said that he, fellow graduate Racheal Adeneye and incoming senior Laureen Niba met with principal Zach Mercier to discuss the issue on behalf of black students. It was the last in a series of meetings between students and campus officials upon which a final decision was made to change mascots.
Quartz Hill released a statement on the matter Friday:
“Quartz Hill High School places a high value on creating an atmosphere of acceptance, respect and love for all students. Our school’s vibrant history includes the stories of more than fifty years of graduates who have left our classrooms to positively contribute to the world. We are immensely proud of both our current student body and the alumni who continue to represent our core values.
“The more recent events that have transpired locally and across the world have resulted in a sincere reflection on our core values as an institution and the way in which we represent those values to our community. It is abundantly clear that we can no longer continue to use the rebel mascot to represent our school community. Effective immediately, the Rebel mascot and the Rebel name will no longer be used at Quartz Hill High School. This unique moment in our school history will be the catalyst to create a more unifying, inclusive culture for the future generations of students.
“Over the next several weeks, students and staff at Quartz Hill High School will work collaboratively to select a new mascot to represent the spirit of our beloved school.”
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