Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
"I don't want to make myself too important for sure, because I'm not," Rowland said. "But my goal tonight was to stop this controversy. This issue has been about a symbol, a mascot, and we're much, much more important than that."
... Rowland has supported the decision to retire the rebel and adopt "mavericks" as the new mascot.
"There is no doubt that change like this can be controversial," he said. "But in our case, we have seen one individual motivated by questionable motives, including a thirst for power and publicity, use the mascot issue to incite a small number of followers to turn a whole community against its school representatives."
Fort Smith attorney Joey McCutchen, a 1981 Southside graduate, is leading the charge for a rebel revival. Rebel supporters, Rowland said, have used social media "as the most vile weapon presenting half-truths, innuendoes and outright lies to discredit those who have worked long and hard to make a better school district."
"In all of my years as a coach and as an administrator, I've never seen such a poisonous atmosphere as there is in our school system at this time," he said.
"He's accused me, Mr. Rowland and others of being 'yes' men because we've been loyal to our superintendent and the board and done what you've asked us to do," Haver said. "Well, he's got his 'yes' men, too. And he wants to get two more 'yes' men. He's going to be the puppet master who pulls the strings, and this city better wise up. We need to put a stop to this."Haver got a standing ovation from the crowd.
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