Caledonia aldermen weigh in on mascot change: Keep Confederates

By Neal Wagner
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

CALEDONIA — Discussion of Caledonia High School’s Confederate mascot emerged Tuesday night at the Caledonia town hall as members of the town’s Board of Aldermen voted to take an official stance on the matter.

“As former student body president and graduate of Caledonia High School, I’ve put some thought into suggesting this resolution,” Caledonia Vice Mayor Bill Darnell told the board before proposing a resolution to petition the school to retain its Civil War-inspired mascot.

“Some people may hate me for doing this, but I’d like us to petition the school to leave the mascot the way it is,” Darnell added shortly before the board unanimously passed the motion.

The resolution came after weeks of public debate on the matter, during which many Caledonia residents seemed in favor of retaining the Confederate mascot, according to Caledonia Mayor Bill Lawrence.

“I think the biggest part of the people out here want to leave it like it is,” Lawrence said this morning. “I think if more people were educated to this history of all this, it wouldn’t matter and none of this would even be an issue. But I’m going to shut my mouth there.” *

Because they are elected by town residents, the members of the Caledonia Board of Aldermen represented the majority of their constituents by voting in favor of Tuesday’s resolution, Lawrence added.

“I think the main reason everyone voted for it last night is because the majority of this town’s population feels the same way about it,” said Lawrence. “And we are all elected to represent this town’s residents.”

Board members seemed in agreement with a Dispatch poll taken last week, in which participants voted by a margin of three to one against changing the Confederate mascot.

Of the 1,008 votes cast in the poll, 759 voted against changing the mascot and 249 voted in favor of changing it.

On The Web: