Turner County School Board hears 'Rebel' debate

Turner County School Board hears 'Rebel' debate

ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - There was a civilized debate Monday night in Turner County over whether the high school nickname should change.

Turner County High School teams have been known as the Rebels for generations, but after recent controversy over the Confederate flag, some people say that should change. The school does not use any symbols associated with the flag, not even the colors.

A big crowd showed up at Monday night's school board meeting. Board members heard from one representative of the group that wants to change the mascot and one spokesperson for the group who says the Rebels name is a proud school tradition.

Nickname supporter Jessica McLain said, "We've always been that. We've been that since the late 1950s, and so, you know, why change it now?"

Opponent Larry Hillmon said, "We need to give it something that everybody can respect and love, just a neutral name. It's just a high school mascot, but when you start putting history behind it an things like Charleston happen, it can get real serious really fast."

Each side presented the board with petitions with hundreds of signatures. Board members did not discuss the issue or indicate whether they would consider changing the nickname.

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