East Bay

San Lorenzo High School May Drop Controversial ‘Rebel Guy' Mascot

The principal of San Lorenzo High School is asking the school board to remove the "dated and offensive" cartoon mascot.

A high school in the East Bay may soon remove a controversial mascot.

The principal of San Lorenzo High School is asking the school board to remove the cartoon mascot known as the "Rebel Guy." Many believe the Confederate-inspired image is dated and offensive.

Results from a poll of students alumni show 65 percent of those who participated want to get ride of the mascot.

"It's been offensive for a long time," Principal Tovi Scruggs. "You can't put a cost on the emotional wellness of your students and community."

On Tuesday night, Scruggs presented a video to the school board. The video details the history of the mascot, which was changed in the 1990s from Colonel Rebel with a Confederate flag to the Rebel Guy.

Many students agree and call the mascot offensive and distracting.

"Seeing that everyday, knowing that in the back of my mind it means this -- that's not OK," student Asia Denman said.

On the flip side, some students said the Rebel Guy is a tradition associated with school pride.

"We all kind of like that guy," student Manuel Escobar said. "Some of us don't want that to change."

The San Lorenzo Unified School District Board of Education will make the final decision on whether to remove the mascot, but Scruggs is hoping the debate on campus has been an opportunity for students to learn about tolerance and acceptance.

"This would be a victory and money well spent in the direction to celebrate inclusion instead of exclusion," Scruggs said.

If the school board votes to get rid of the Rebel Guy, Scruggs said she would like students to work together to create a new mascot.

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