- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a case over a school board’s decision to replace the school’s long-held “Rebels” mascot.

MyNBC 5 reports the South Burlington School Board voted unanimously last year to drop the rebel team name because of connections to the Confederacy. A group that opposed the name change unsuccessfully filed a petition calling for a Town Meeting Day ballot question concerning the mascot.

Paul Gillies, an attorney representing the residents, says the board is using a “protective shield” against its critics.

The district’s attorney, Poetro Lynn, says the school board alone has the power to make the mascot decision. Lynn argues that board members can be replaced during elections.

Justices will have to consider the meaning of the “right to instruct” in the state constitution.

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