VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. – The controversy surrounding confederate symbols is making its way from the flag and into one Alabama high school.
Some parents and students at Vestavia Hills High School in the Birmingham area are rallying against the school’s confederate”rebel” mascot, but one student who used to be the Colonel Reb mascot is on the other side of the battle lines.
The Vestavia Hills High school mascot– a Confederate rebel is used to firing crowds up. But now, the rebel man is stirring up more than just spectators at football games.
About 200 parents and students gathered Wednesday night, some calling for the school board to retire the mascot.
In 2012, Calvin Wright became the first African-American to serve as Colonel Reb, and he says he stands behind the mascot and the memories ‘Reb creates.
“Did I know the history of what the rebel stood for? Yeah, but I didn’t care about that,” Wright said. “I wanted to have fun and to show the love that I had for the community that helped raise me.”
Wright says if the community decides to be politically correct and change the mascot, all surrounding areas need to adhere to the new rules.
The Hoover Bucs? Their mascot is a pirate, pirates steal stuff and do bad things to women and children. A Spartan? They used to throw babies off a cliff,” said Wright.
Wright hopes ultimately the community can focus on the positive school traditions ‘Colonel Reb’ stands for.