Editorials

Quick change right decision on ‘Stallions’

A version of the new Frederick Douglass High School’s football uniforms was on display Monday. After some opposition to the “Stallions” nickname, school officials said students will choose a new equine-related name.
A version of the new Frederick Douglass High School’s football uniforms was on display Monday. After some opposition to the “Stallions” nickname, school officials said students will choose a new equine-related name. palcala@herald-leader.com

There is a saying that if you are going to eat crow best to eat it while it’s still warm.

Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk abided by that wisdom in quickly responding to the legitimate public outrage over the nickname “Stallions” for the district’s soon-to-be-opened Frederick Douglass High School.

Caulk deserves credit for walking away quickly from the gender-and-sexual-performance-specific nickname. Students at the new high school will choose a new, equine-related nickname, he said.

The school is named to honor the abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass, and a school by that name for black students here during segregation. But officials said the nickname was chosen to honor the equine history of the land it will occupy.

Credit also goes to Diane Cahill, the Lexington woman who developed an online petition to remove the name almost as quickly as it was announced. Using change.org’s website, she cited a definition of stallion — a male horse capable of breeding — that included, “also slang for a powerful and virile man who has a lot of lovers.”

“What message does this send?” Cahill asked.

Good question. Too bad no one within the district asked it earlier.

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