Dixie Hollins High School in St. Pete to drop 'Dixie,' change nickname from 'Rebels' to 'Royals'

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A high school in St. Petersburg is removing Confederate references from its name.

Pinellas County Public Schools says Dixie M. Hollins High School will officially keep its full name, but will henceforth only be referred to as Hollins High School.

"Unlike most schools, Dixie Hollins High School has been commonly known over the years by its namesake’s first name 'Dixie' and not his last name," the school district said in its announcement.

The school opened in 1959, and was named after the first superintendent of Pinellas County Schools.

The school's previous nickname of the “Rebels” has been replaced with the “Royals," while blue and white will remain as the school colors.

Principal Robert Florio said the decision was school-based after student leaders and staff met over the summer, agreeing it was time to "drop the last remaining references to the Confederacy."

The news was shared with students on the first day of classes, while the school says it will work on changing its marquee, adding new signage and updating its social media platforms during the school year.

The district said Hollins was known for promoting the rights of Black students, making sure they were taught by certified teachers and attended a full school day instead of just a few months per year.