Blue Ridge, Ga. – Rumors of a Rebels name change have taken social media by storm and those involved in the school system say that right now, it is nothing more than rumors.
With the current political climate, the Fannin County Rebels have once again been thrust into the community spotlight due to the school’s mascot.
Some on Facebook vow that the name has already been secretly changed to the Fannin County Raiders and that new uniforms have been the works, while others are simply joining the debate on whether there should be a change at all.
Head coach of the Gilmer County Bobcats, Kevin Saunders, chimed in via Twitter.
While not mentioning the rival Fannin Rebels specifically, Saunders did share in part: “Once again I hope schools decide to remove very explicit racial traditions. High school and Colleges, examples would be Dixie, Nickname Rebel or reb and the Confederate Flag. Some schools are but there is no need for this to be carrying on in this day and time”.
Fannin County school officials say that there have been no meetings for the purpose of changing the school’s mascot.
“I am a board member and there have been no meetings concerning a name change,” Fannin County School Board Member Mike Cole posted to Facebook, adding, “All you are seeing is what we called “rumor control” in the Marine Corps. None of this is factual.”
Cole also pointed out that a name change usually goes through the School Governance Team (SGT) and not the board.
Assistant Superintendent Robert Ensley spoke with FYN and confirmed Cole’s remarks. Like Cole, Ensley said that there have been no meetings regarding the Rebel name. Ensley also stated that a change in name would need to be addressed to the high school SGT.
Ensley stated that in order for there to be a change to the mascot it must first be brought before the SGT and then options would be given to be voted on. Student, faculty, and guardian input would all be considered if such a change were requested.
“There have been no agenda items to date for either the board or the SGT that have mentioned a change in the name,” Ensley said adding that all meetings are public and agendas are available to the public.
The next SGT meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 15 at 4:15 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Those who are in favor of or opposed to a change in the Rebel mascot are encouraged to contact the SGT.
Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education took time at their Feb. monthly meeting to give special recognition to those who have positively impacted the school system recently.
First to be recognized was West Fannin Elementary School (WFES) First Grade teacher Katy Roberson and WFES Student Governance Team member Jocelyn Miller for their work which has brought state and national attention to the Fannin County School District.
What all began with the reading of a book, Stellaluna, to a class, has become an ongoing project that is now in its third year.
A former student of Roberson told her of a “bat house” that they have at home and from there the project evolved.
“She (Roberson) was able to take the concept of bats and integrate all of the subjects into it and the kids were basically learning math. They were reading. They were doing science, all through the lens of bats,” Miller spoke of the teacher’s work with children.
Miller, who is now going for her doctoral degree, along with Roberson wrote an article about the project titled “At Home with Bats”. This article was published in the National Science Teachers Association peer-reviewed journal “Science and Children”.
Since then the article has gone on to be published on university websites, garnering even more attention for education in our area.
Next to be recognized for their work with the school system was Fannin County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
Through their Stop the Bleed Campaign, Fannin County EMA Director Robert Graham, Fannin County Training Officer Ryan McDavis, and EMS Child Advocate Rebecca Huffman were all recognized for the work put into training staff of the school district.
Stop the Bleed is a program set in place by the American College of Surgeons and works to train people worldwide on how to stop bleeding in a severely injured person.
After training, the school district received several Stop the Bleed kits which have been put in place not only in the schools but also on every bus, along with a standard first aid kits.
Fannin County School System Director of Transportation Denver Foster called these kits, “a little bag with a lot of life saving power in it”.
Foster also thanked Fannin County’s EMA/EMS for their ongoing role in working with the school system to provide safety to its students on a daily basis.
Click here to read about those honored at last month’s meeting.