Confederacy in CRCS?

Mikayla Rix

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In 1991, two schools in surrounding areas joined together to become one. Cuba and Rushford combined to form the Cuba-Rushford Rebels. Previously each school had their own mascot; a symbol that represents a particular school by bringing them good luck. Cuba’s mascot was the greyhounds and Rushford’s was the tigers.

The rebel is a character that is supposed to represent fierce competition and make our opponents aware of our presence. Home games usually draw bigger crowds than visiting games. Therefore, we need something to get the crowd “fired up.” In this case the mascot can get the fans to be rowdy and cheer on their team. Sadly, here at Cuba- Rushford, our school’s mascot costume displays a negative twist. The costume is of a confederate soldier, or at the very least strongly resembles one. The uniform that our mascot wears has buttons that clearly have markings showing the confederacy. Due to a sudden outburst of confederate flags in this country, and the urge to ban them from schools, this mascot’s outfit states and shows that it is okay to have some kind of attire showing the confederacy. Some students have the confederate flag on their vehicles and this has been called racist, but having a school mascot that parades around in a confederate soldier uniform is alright?

My investigation began by asking some of the administration, staff and students here at Cuba Rushford, what they think about the mascot and its attire. Mr. Ullman voiced his opinion about the mascot by saying, “I’m not a political correctness guy, I’m not easily offended, and I’m not a political agitator.  But a scruffy Rebel, WEARING GRAY is too close to being a Confederate image or symbol.  Even if that’s not the intended message, the mascot still looks like some stupid hick. I HATE the Rebel mascot.  I think we should be the Lakers.” With his proposal for a new mascot, and the word getting around about his idea, many students and staff have started to promote his idea. The thought process behind this was that since Cuba has a lake and Rushford has a lake, why not use that similarity and incorporate it into a mascot.

In another statement from Mr. Ullman, he described what the mascot looked like before and what it presently looks like. He said, “Prior to the Columbine shooting, he had guns.  Then, they put his hands in his pockets.  Now, he folds his arms looking stupid.  AND WEARS GRAY!  Might as well just hand him a Confederate flag. Which I’m sure some people around here would LOVE!”

Shortly after, I got a response from Ms. Grillo, the eleventh grade English teacher. In her response she stated “I do not think that our mascot is appropriate for our school, or for any school for that matter, for two reasons.” She went on to explain her two reasons, and they were “We have a code of conduct and rules that we expect students and teachers to follow.  If students do not follow those rules, they are disciplined.  If teachers do not enforce those rules, they are reprimanded.  It seems bizarre then that our very own mascot encourages rebellion when we are constantly reminded that rebellion, even in such small and silly form as bare shoulders, will not be tolerated.”  Her second reasoning was, “The mascot is clearly a confederate soldier.  While the confederacy very broadly stood for rebellion and states’ rights, it also stood for things that we should be ashamed to promote.  In part it stood for white supremacy and fought to protect the sickening practice of enslaving human beings.”

When I spoke to the soon to be athletic director, Mr. Cappeletti, he agreed with the proposal that Mr. Ullman made about having a mascot that geographically makes sense.  He sated, “CR is located in the western NY, so being the Rebels does not make sense historically or geographically. Maybe the thought was all the students wanted to “break the mold” and do their own thing…”

Next on my list was to ask someone from the student body about the mascot. Jacob Hardy, a member of the football and baseball teams stated that our mascot is a confederate soldier. He also included that it is not hard to figure that out because “the buttons on the mascot’s shirt, are labeled with CSA for confederate states of America.”

After asking a new face to the Cuba Rushford school disctrict, Miss. Katie Ralston, the middle school principal stated “I personally have no issue with our mascot. I personally feel that mascots are more about school spirit than anything else, and I LOVE the CRCS school spirit.”

Therefore, there are many people of the Cuba Rushford community that sees this needs to change so why don’t we make the change? Mr. Ullman proposed an idea that is very logical. We could become the Cuba Rushford Lakers due to there being lakes in both Cuba and Rushford. With that being said, if members of the staff and student body see that our mascot is showing a different side than what it was supposed to represent, then maybe something should be done to change it. Either the attire or the whole mascot could be changed, or does Cuba Rushford stand for people who rebel and support the confederate flag in a school setting? Hmmm, you choose.









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2 Responses to “Confederacy in CRCS?”

  1. Larry Mueller on May 18th, 2017 10:54 am

    Well in this world of “political correctness” and REVISIONIST HISTORY, The reporter has raised a few DECENT points. One point I would like to remind folks of as a former Civil War Re enactor..Yes Confederate Artillery. is that much like our war of independence, while not well liked there were British supporting colonists here too and were still considered “americans. President Lincoln at the end of the “Great Rebellion” gave “orders” to “let them up EASY” as they were still considered as Americans all. If we were to “GLORY” in the Northern Union” and it’s victory during this “rebellion”, and ERASE ALL vestiges of memory and Sacrifices made by the “Lost Cause” of SOLDIERS, would be a Travesty in their belief. Quite SIMILAR to what we see going on in our Nations politics TODAY.
    YES SYMBOLS have been perverted to mean wrong things since their origin, and that sadly has gone on since recorded history. THAT, of which I am not proud of either.But to Banish them is to deny history.
    Now as to the current mascot and a proposed NEW one, I would not feel “persecuted” with a change done under Proper explanation. But I will ask one question about WHAT the suggested NEW mascot would look like! Seems to me that an “effigy” of 2 lakes “prancing” about would look rather SILLY, BUT that is MY joking OPINION.
    Once again the reporter did a very nice article of the subject and I for one would encourage others of the school AND community to speak up on the subject!


  2. Danielle Ouchida on August 26th, 2017 6:28 pm

    Hi! Thanks for writing this article. I’m an alumnus and I’ve been amazed that the board and administration have kept the rebel for so long. I started a petition so more alumni, students, and community members can be heard. I love Mr. Ullman’s idea for the Lakers!


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Confederacy in CRCS?