Brattleboro to choose new image of controversial mascot

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(Host) The Brattleboro Colonel will be getting a makeover. The Brattleboro Union High School Board voted Tuesday night to retain its controversial mascot in name only. The image of a Civil War era southern colonel, will be abandoned.

Board member Lynne Corum says a contest will be held to create a new colonel image to represent the school.

(Corum) “I think the school board realized that this image is disturbing to some people, not disturbing to others. And it has brought the community together in many ways because it’s opened discussions that we otherwise wouldn’t have. So as board chairman David Dunn has said tonight, the Old Man has done us good service , but it’s time to put him to bed.”

(Host) The mascot came under fire this fall after Curtis Reed, a local diversity activist, wrote a commentary about it in the Brattleboro Reformer. He called the southern icon a symbol of slavery. Reed had hoped the colonel name would be retired as well. But he says he’s happy with the compromise.

(Reed) “I think there’s a newfound sense that we live in a new reality. And that as a result of retiring the Colonel, people are now awake to issues of racism, violence and harassment in our schools and the role that all of us have to play in mitigating those. And that’s a really important awakening.”

(Host) A series of community forums is being planned to continue the discussions.

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