Escambia High News
Escambia High School News Submitted by Alumni
Mascot riots 1972 -1977March 31, 2009 by Terry Kull (Register to contact)
The Escambia High School riots were racially motivated nonviolent and violent demonstrations which occurred in varying forms between 1972 and 1977 at the then-newly desegregated Escambia High School. The centerpiece riot, which received the most publicity and was the most violent demonstration, occurred on February 5, 1976.
Formerly an all-white school, Escambia High School was forcibly desegregated in 1969. In the fall of 1972, black students rioted at a home football game for their team, whose mascot was a "Rebel," modeled in appearance after the Colonel Reb of the University of Mississippi. The school band played the official school song, "Dixie," and it was from there that the violence ensued.
Continuing until the end of the 1972–73 academic year, blacks and other students protested the mascot, school song and use of the Confederate Flag, which was flown at school events and games, on the grounds that the imagery the items brought up were insensitive to black people. On July 24, 1973, a United States District Court ruling deemed all of the aforementioned symbols as "racially irritating" and barred their use at the school level (Augustus v. School Board of Escambia County, 361 F. Supp. 383, 1973).
At the beginning of the next school year, the name "Raiders" was picked to be the new name for all of Escambia High's athletic teams. Throughout 1974, the Escambia County School District appealed the decision, and on January 25, 1975, the United States Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the school board, overturning the injunction and decreeing that the school board should be in charge of the matter (Augustus v. School Board of Escambia County, 507 F.2d 152, 1975).
On February 4, 1976, an impromptu school election was held in which students were allowed to vote to either keep the name as "Raiders" or change the name back to "Rebels." The students who preferred "Rebels" failed to secure a supermajority needed to win the ballot, and the next day, a riot ensued over four hours in the school day.
Four students were shot in the violence and twenty-six students were injured by rocks and debris while the calamity involved students smashing windows and trophy cases, as well as fighting with other students.
It was estimated that three-quarters of the 2,523 students who attended Escambia High were involved in the riot. In the aftermath, crosses were burned on many school board members' yards, with one member, who was black, specifically targeted with a gunshot which went through his window. A human relations board member as well as a state legislator also had their homes torched.
After all the retaliatory violence both at the school and in the community, the Florida National Guard was called in to patrol the school until the end of the year. In the fall of 1976, students chose the name "Gators" after a second ballot was deemed necessary.
On July 26, 1977, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally on the school grounds with regards to the issue, which necessitated a reorganization of the school board. The name "Gators" has been used for Escambia High's athletic teams since, without incident.
Escambia High School News From Around The Web
Rivals.com (press release)A few recruits to really pay close attention to in the next few months: Emil Ekiyor, four-star offensive tackle from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, and Jacob Copeland, four-star wide receiver from Escambia High School in Pensacola. Ekiyor ...September 26, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalThe Escambia High product and No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has ... The Roughriders had a scout at Saturday's football game between the University of West Florida and Valdosta State in Pensacola. More: Throwback Thursday: The area's top ...September 26, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalHigh school football in our area reaches its midpoint on Friday. ... Last Friday's fiasco, which led to forfeiture of a game between Lighthouse Private Christian Academy and Escambia High, was avoidable in so many ways. ... The same group of ...September 22, 2017 by SECcountry.com
SECcountry.comCopeland, a 4-star prospect from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), visited Alabama for the Crimson Tide's game against Colorado State last weekend. He chose to visit Tuscaloosa for that game instead of visiting Gainesville for Florida's rivalry ...September 22, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalLongley said Lighthouse Christian notified Escambia and the Florida High School Athletic Association of the scheduling issue on June 12. He hoped that by notifying Escambia and the FHSAA at that time, the Gators might be able to find another game for ...September 19, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalMore than 300 of Principal Karen Montgomery's 900 students at Pensacola's Blue Angels Elementary School have parents serving in the military. From fearing for the safety of their deployed parents to worrying about their family's next move, the military ...September 19, 2017 by The Alexander City Outlook
The Alexander City Outlook... Russell High School Navy JROTC loaded onto a bus early Friday morning and set off for Pensacola, Florida and the annual Gator Games competition against other Navy JROTC units from southwestern Alabama and northwestern Florida, hosted by Escambia ...
Top Florida WR commit on surprise Alabama visit: 'You never know what could happen at any given moment'September 19, 2017 by SECcountry.com
SECcountry.comJacob Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.), wasn't expected in Tuscaloosa over the weekend for Alabama's game against Colorado State, but there he was on the Tide's sideline wearing a crimson-colored visor to ...September 8, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalMore: Hurricane Irma threat alters PNJ-area high school football schedule ... Friday morning, just four area teams were going forward with their scheduled games, with just one contest in the PNJ area with Pensacola High at Washington. ... The Escambia ...September 8, 2017 by Univision
UnivisionMIAMI, Florida.- Con el avance del huracán Irma hacia Florida, colegios, centros de convenciones y agencias locales han comenzado a abrir refugios para aquellos que busquen protegerse de la tormenta. Señalan que este es el último recurso que debe ...September 8, 2017 by The Advocate
The Advocate"To comply with (Florida) Governor Scott's declaration that all Florida schools close, the Rummel vs. Escambia game is canceled," the tweet said. Scott cancelled classes for all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices in ...September 7, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalThe Pensacola News Journal could confirm that at least two games would be played on Friday, both involving Escambia County schools – Pensacola at Washington and New Orleans Archbishop Rummel at Escambia. “We are on, (Rummell) is coming this way ...August 23, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalPensacola-area players on Division I FBS rosters: BY HIGH SCHOOL. Escambia High. Terik Miller, Soph., LB, Louisana-Lafayette. Jabir Daughtry-Frye, Soph., RB, Troy. Gerold Bright, Soph.,WR, Utah State. Gulf Breeze High. Carson Sharp, Jr., LS, Oregon ...August 18, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalMike Bennett walked down the entrance ramp to Escambia High's Emmitt Smith Field on Friday night wearing a smile he could trademark if he wanted to. And a voice, still, like none other. "Hey, how's our freshmen doing?" he yelled to Escambia principal ...August 17, 2017 by Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola News JournalMayor Ashton Hayward's call to remove a Confederate monument from downtown Pensacola has sparked a strong reaction, but one Florida historian who has studied the Civil Rights movement in Escambia County said the mayor's call is unprecedented for a ...News headlines by Google News
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