A local pastor's call to get rid of Warner Robins High School's Demon mascot is bringing a fiery response from the community.
Just one day after he announced his petition to recall the mascot, school supporters posted a petition of their own.
Recall Demons Petition
The petition states: "They took DIXIE from us, don't let them have our mascot too."
One signer says this cause is worth forgiving old rivalries to support. Kim Brown says she's a graduate of Northside High School, a die-hard eagle fan, and because of it, her school's friendly feud with Warner Robins High gives the Demon a special place in her heart.
"We used to kidnap the Demon and hold him for ransom. Paint the green eyes blue. It was a very big deal to us," Brown says.
But she says even the biggest rivalries can be put aside when a city tradition is at stake.
"This is our tradition, this is our home," she says. "We should have more to say about it."
Brown says she's added her signature to the "Save Our Mascot" petition online, even though she knows the Demon isn't her mascot to save.
A quick glance at the electronic petition, which is growing in numbers by the hour, shows supporters crossing generation gaps, geographic boundaries, and even school rivalries to come to the aid of the 60-year-old demon. As of 4 o'clock Wednesday, about 24 hours after the petition started, "Save Our Mascot" had more than 700 signatures.
"You're bringing in Northside to back up Warner Robins, and I think that's awesome," says Brown.
Brown says her mother is a Warner Robins demon, her daughter is a Northside eagle, and her son is Demon as well. But this is one case where controversy is bringing everyone together.
"We should blow him out of the water with it," Brown says, referring to Pastor Donald Crosby and his petition to recall the Demon. "I think we should stand up for what we believe in as well, and I don't think that Warner Robins should cower down."
Warner Robins, the city, she means. She says the Demon doesn't just hold significance for the high school, but the rest of the community too, and she doesn't want to see future generations robbed of the tradition and friendly rivalry.
Contacted Wednesday afternoon, Crosby said he was aware of the discussion around town he's created, but says he's still committed to his campaign.
School officials say they have no intention of changing the mascot.