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Walpole on the front page, and not in a good way

May 25, 2010

Update 5/25/10: WHDH and NECN have covered the Rebel flag issue and interviewed the owner of the flag. The video and article from WHDH is here and from NECN is here. This is extremely embarrassing. During the past two years, the Walpole High School football team and sports program has made it into the news for an Athletic Director who raped a student, and now for our mascot. There is no better way to destroy our school’s long sports tradition than to have one negative headline after another.

This post has been edited since being originally published.

For those who missed it, the town of Walpole made it on to the front page of The Boston Globe today in an article about the Rebel mascot. Here it is. I hope this embarrasses Walpole publicly to the point where the mascot name is changed.

What a way to do it – public humiliation throughout the country on the front page of a major newspaper. Say goodbye to any new residents or businesses looking to move into Walpole. This is not good publicity.

I was somewhat disappointed with the article, because I do not think the writer did a very good job in covering all aspects of the issue, but I think the message was clear: the name needs to be changed now. If public embarrassment on the front page is the only way, so be it.

My journalism class at Walpole High has begun circulating petitions among students to request the property owner next to the field take down the flag. Surprisingly, we have gotten a number of students to sign it. The signature drive is ongoing.

Had the article included the fact that many of us at Walpole High actually do not agree with the flag’s existence next to the field, I think the article would have been less embarrassing to the community.

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