INDIANAPOLIS — Roncalli High School will drop its nickname and mascot due to “negative connotations” surrounding it.
For decades the school's nickname has been "Rebels," which the school said was in homage to its namesake, Pope John XXIII, who it felt was a rebel for calling for the Second Vatican Council.
The "Rebels" nickname came to reflect a tie to the Confederacy over time and the school leaders now feel it is appropriate to chose a new nickname.
"A nickname that better reflects the character of our namesake," said Principal Chuck Weisenbach.
Interim President Father Robert Robeson said he would be appointing a special task force to explore alternative names and symbols to better reflect the school's mission. That task force will include students, parents, faculty and alumni.
"We know that there may be some members of our community who will be saddened by this change. But as we look forward to the next 50 years, we believe that this change is essential in order to better serve our mission as a Catholic high school," said Robeson.
You can see the school's complete video statement here: