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Community input invited for new TF South nickname

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (January 12, 2021) – A group of TF South student leaders tasked with determining a new nickname for the school has invited the TF South community to share suggestions for a new name.

The invitation was sent to the school community in an email on Tuesday, January 12, and comes after students voted last summer to shrug off the “Rebels” nickname in favor a new, less racially-provocative name. The student vote was confirmed by the District 215 School Board, which voted unanimously to dissolve the “Rebels” name.

A process for choosing a new nickname was suggested by TF South Principal Jacob Gourley to the District 215 Board on September 9, 2020. The process is student-driven with faculty and staff assistance.

The full email is included below:

Hello, TFS Community.

As you may be aware, the District 215 Board of Education retired the “Rebels” nickname in August, 2020. Since that time, a group of student leaders has been meeting regularly to discuss/propose a new nickname and/or mascot. If you would like to share a suggestion with the group, please send an email to [email protected]. It would be helpful to include a brief rationale as to why you think the name would be a good fit for the school. Thanks for your input!


Captains’ Club and Activity Exec Board Members, Mr. Gourley, Mrs. Streit, Mr. Brewe, and Mr. Gillespie

TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. Interesting comment, Tom. Let’s test your theory. I can see how a laughing parent might say, “He was such a scamp growing up. A regular rebel.”

    Let’s move on to the dictionary definition of the word:
    Rebel: NOUN

    a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler.
    revolutionary · insurgent · revolutionist · mutineer · agitator · subversive · [more]

    Rebel: VERB

    rise in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or ruler.

    Now that’s a little different, isn’t it? Do you think the people who swarmed this nation’s capital, smashed windows and were responsible for 5 deaths thought of themselves as “Rebels”?

    Let’s take it a step further. Let’s say you are an African-American high school scholar and athlete, someone like Pierre Thomas. Imagine yourself coming to school every day and seeing the Confederate Battle Flag plastered across the front of the school building. Would you find that hearty-warming or offensive?

    Frank Fetters, TF South graduate, Class of 1959

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