KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The debate continues over West High School’s nickname — the rebels.
Students and some faculty are in the process of trying to change it, but some West High alumni and members of the community say they want to keep things the way they are.
The debate was split at Monday’s public input meeting on the possible name change of West High School’s nickname, the Rebels.
Several people spoke in favor of and against the change. Some argued that the decision should only be a student debate and that community members and alumni should stay out of it altogether.
“This is one of those issues that it’s not a this is the set answer and this is what we need to do. I think there’s a lot of nuances to it, there’s a lot of different opinions and just trying to figure out what the best thing is to move forward,” said District 4 school board representative, Virginia Babb.
Some current West High students said they’d like the choice to be left to them.
“There were changes in the past that were made by the student body, so why don’t we continue that trend? They want to keep continuing traditions, why don’t we keep the tradition of letting the students decide,” said West High junior, Madelyn Foxx.
With so many differing opinions, some chose the neutral route, showing up at the meeting to voice their support for student choice.
“I don’t really have a stance, it belongs to the students that are here today. As the old adage goes I don’t have a dog in this fight anymore. I graduated in 71,” said West High Alumni Carl Cook.
This was the last community meeting but there will be a survey opening on December 7 for community feedback. The survey will remain open until December 20. District officials are considering all feedback and say it could be March of next year before a decision is made.