HOWELL – The Howell High School mascot is expected to receive a makeover. The school’s teams are the Rebels and administrators in the Freehold Regional High School District recently said a new image for the mascot would be created in the near future.
In recent weeks, individuals on social media platforms have discussed and debated the origin of Howell’s mascot. Some commenters have pointed to the mascot’s connection to the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
FRHSD administrators responded to the social media chatter with a statement in which they said, “Throughout the last several years, the district has taken action to remove the former image of this mascot.
“For instance, the image has been removed from new uniforms and was not included when Howell High School’s turf field and basketball court were updated. Rather, the Howell “H” has appeared and been consistently used to symbolize the school.
“We are continuing to take the necessary steps to remove any remaining public depictions of that former (Rebels) image,” district administrators said.
Howell High School became the second high school in the Freehold Regional High School District (after Freehold High School in Freehold Borough) when it opened in the mid-1960s. The school was initially called Southern Freehold Regional High School.
FRHSD administrators said Howell’s teams would remain the Rebels, but they said they will work with students to listen to their thoughts and to consider a design for a new image for the school’s mascot.
A petition that was started by resident Meghan Marker proposed an image that better represents the community in 2020.
Marker said the Rebels mascot the FRHSD has been doing away with in recent years is “Confederate imagery (and) … a present day reminder of our violent and discriminatory past.”
“The right mascot will unify a community and embody the spirit of the students and staff it represents,” Marker said.
The other mascots in the FRHSD are the Manalapan Braves, the Freehold Colonials, the Freehold Township Patriots, the Marlboro Mustangs and the Colts Neck Cougars.