Reader letter: Removing Rebel nickname at Riverside goes too far

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I am a proud member of the Riverside Secondary School graduating class of 1968.

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I was active in athletics, student council and Key Club, all of which shaped my experience at the school.

I can honestly say the first time I ever heard the name Johnny Rebel associated with our Rebel nickname was last week. I am not at all impressed with country singer Johnny Rebel’s idea of music, but he has absolutely nothing to do with the Riverside Rebels.

The school has a proud 67-year history of academic excellence and community spirit.

Thousands of students, plus hundreds of faculty and staff have contributed to this history and identified as Rebels. Suddenly, all of that history is now deemed offensive and must be stricken from the record.

I have been told the “R” has been removed from the face of the building and the gymnasium floor. Further, the trophy cases and contents have been removed. Sixty-seven years of successes, failures, effort,and building blocks gone.

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I respect and support the Greater Essex County District School Board’s efforts to eradicate racism, but I vehemently disagree with this decision.

The only thing being eradicated here is the proud history of a fine institution. By the way, it might be noted that “R” stands for Riverside, as well as Rebel. Please stop this madness.

John Musselman, Windsor

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