Two graduates of a Loudoun County, Virginia, high school are working to have the school mascot removed as they say it links back to a Confederate battalion during the Civil War.
“As a nation, we’ve galvanized behind the Black Lives Matter movement. I think this is the time,” said A.J. Jelonek, a 2010 graduate of Loudoun County High School in Leesburg.
Jelonek and Deidre Dillon, a 2009 graduate, have started a Change.org petition to remove the school’s mascot.
Jelonek said in 1954, a segregated student body chose Mosby’s Raiders as the school’s mascot, recognizing the 43rd Battalion of the Virginia Calvary for the Confederate States of America.
“We’ve changed and we’ve grown and we can do better now,” Jelonek said. “We don’t want those ideals of slavery and white supremacy and racism to keep being attached to future generations.”
He said that attempts were made to remove the mascot in the ’70s and ’90s.
“Hopefully, this will be the last time, and we’ll make some real change,” Jelonek said.
The Loudoun County School Board will vote on the removal of the mascot on Monday after a public comment period.