The Franklin High School Rebels will be no more as the high school will now be on the search for a new mascot.
A committee of Williamson County Schools District administrators, FHS faculty, students, school leaders and community members has made a formal recommendation to WCS Superintendent Jason Golden to change the school's longtime mascot to something else.
As previously reported, the committee first met on July 7 and accepted feedback from community members through July 15, and new FHS Principal Dr. Shane Pantall made his own appeal to begin discussion after two petitions from Franklin High alumni received more than 2,500 signatures.
Franklin High’s mascot was originally the Pioneers and was changed to the Rebels in 1936, and according to the district, there have been several student-led and community-led attempts to change the mascot before this year including in the 1990s and in 2018.
“The FHS committee reviewing the Franklin Rebels mascot has recommended that I remove the mascot and nickname from Franklin High School effective immediately,” Golden said in a WCS news release.
“I have reviewed the details of their recommendation and concluded that it’s time for this change. Franklin High School has a long history of excellence that started during the school’s early decades when they were known as the Pioneers and has continued through more recent times. I look forward to the FHS community finding that next mascot and to their continued excellence as one of the top high schools in the State of Tennessee.”
The district and high school will now begin collecting mascot suggestions by way of a Franklin High Mascot Suggestion Form until Aug. 5 at 3 p.m., and the district added that anyone making a suggestion should include a rationale for their submission.
“We want input from students, teachers and community members as we work to create new traditions and a welcoming community,” said Pantall.
According to the district, a committee formed from parents, students and administrators from Franklin High will review the submissions and choose the top three names.
Once the top three names are selected, students will have an opportunity to offer feedback and vote on which mascot they prefer, although the final decision will be made by Pantall after reviewing the votes.