Skip to comments.North Dallas suburb's school board changes nickname from Coons [Racially Offensive]
Posted on 03/05/2002 5:03:33 AM PST by MeekOneGOP
North Dallas suburb's school board changes nickname from Coons
The Associated Press
FRISCO, Texas The Frisco Fighting Coons are no more.
Some students and parents in the North Dallas suburb had complained the nickname was racially offensive, and the Frisco School Board agreed Monday night, voting unanimously to change the nickname from Coons to Raccoons.
Superintendent Rick Reedy recommended the change.
Of several dozen people at Monday night's board meeting, many were vocal in their desire to keep the nickname the same as its been for 78 years. Some wore T-shirts and had signs in their yards reading, "Don't Rac my Coons."
Supporters said they had never learned to use "coon" as a racial slur and were proud of the nickname, created in 1924 when no one attached any racial significance to the name.
But school trustee Jimmy Gaffney said Monday night that it's time for a change.
"My dad thought it was the greatest thing going, and he is a racist, I'll be honest with you. I never taught this to my children. I don't want them to be a part of it. And I think our children today don't want to be a part of it," Gaffney said.
"I don't see any walls built at our school between our children, and I don't want to start that," Gaffney said.
Coon Memorial Stadium already had been changed to FISD Memorial Stadium. Frisco's water tower will have to be repainted, and T-shirts, bumper stickers and other signs will have to be changed to reflect the new nickname.
Students' reactions varied. "No one has ever said anything, ever, that I know of," said Jenny Forwark, who is white.
But black student LaVaughn Oliver, a sophomore, said, "I have a friend whose grandfather was killed by a Klan member, and he had that etched in on his chest, and it bothered him."
Valarie Blackman, another black student, said, "A lot of what's happening, you have new people moving in who have a tendency to take offense to that, as compared to the people who have always been here."
Track coach Steve Anthony, who is white, told Dallas television station WFAA: "If we're the Powder Puffs and we win football games and track meets, I don't care, that's my opinion. But for the kids to be made fun of, I don't think it's the appropriate thing."
Trustee Jane Whitledge said earlier, "I'm hoping that people understand that using the word raccoon in its full spelling is a way to maintain the tradition."
The superintendent late last week recommended the change, adding, "I feel that all decisions we make must come down to what is right for kids. It's important for students to be able to be proud of their school, and that includes its mascot. If one student is made to feel uncomfortable, that is one too many."
(ap.state.online.tx 0800 03/05/2002 01:36:02 )
Of course, the Klan only acts rationally, huh?
A lady I used to work with was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas to Cagin' parents. She used to refer to herself as being a Coon-Ass. I've never heard it explained where those monikers came from (Coon-Ass and Cagin). Do you know?
Tell him to hang onto it. Some old RAcoon might pay good money for it one day! :O)
IMO ... this case is a joke. I don't understand why some people are so over-sensitive about things like this. Sure, kids with no consciences from other schools may use it to pick on the kids from Frisco, but other than that, 'Coon has always meant Racoon as far as I'm concerned.
Actually, I have an aunt and uncle that have a mobil home in Frisco. They moved about a year ago to the Cleburne area where they own a couple of homes. Frisco has grown from nothing quickly, that's true. I think Bill Bates, the ex-Dallas Cowboy, has a home there and used to have a Shindig there just before the regular season opened every year.
I've heard it used both for Racoon and racially, and I'm sure the kids do take a ribbing about it from rival schools.
It's the stuff urban legends are made of.
All on needs to do is add the proper punctuation to the word to make a contraction. The proper change is make it now 'coon. Pretty easy to do and to then be able to keep our Southern slang proper without question of the origin.
Apparently, they have way too much time on their hands up the in Frisco!
Oh, yeah. Cajun. Oops! :O)
When I heard about the controversy, I was trying to imagine what it might be like to be a white person moving into a community of mostly black people whose HS team were called the "Crackers". That seemed an appropriate analogy, as the word "crackers" could be viewed with the same type of slant.
I dunno, it wouldn't bother me in the least.
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