BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – Students at Brattleboro Union High School rejected three choices to replace the school’s mascot, a southern colonel which some people found offensive.

Almost 68 percent of the students voting chose “none of the above” when asked to select between a bulldog, eagle or Revolutionary War soldier as the new embodiment of their mascot.

About 56 percent of the school staff also rejected the choices.

Of the three options, a Revolutionary War soldier received the most support, both from students and faculty. The bulldog was second and the eagle last.

Principal James Day said the vote suggested students may not be ready to select a new mascot.

“I think we’ll just leave it alone for a while,” he said. “We said we were going to try to have a new image by May 15, and if we couldn’t we’d go without.”

Day said he believed a lot of students were not pleased by the board’s decision to retire a colonel image that had been decried by some as racist and associated with the Confederate flag and slavery.

“Some students felt we shouldn’t have gone with an outside agency, others felt (the image) should be more local,” Day said. “The majority are just a little frustrated.”

Day said he planned to recommend the board take no further action on the mascot image, suggesting that many students and staff at the school were tired of the issue.

Ninth-grader, Sarah Nichols, said she didn’t think any of the choices were appealing, accounting for her “none of the above” vote.

“You have the bulldog (only) representing the football team, and a parrot and Saddam Hussein with pigtails are the other two choices,” Nichols said.

“They don’t really take our votes into consideration,” she said, alluding to the mid-December vote in which 62 percent of students voted to keep the colonel mascot.

AP-ES-04-16-04 0827EDT


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