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Virginia Townsfolk Bedeviled by School's Mascot

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High-school students in Christiansburg', Va., have voted almost unanimously to keep their traditional mascot, the "Blue Demon," despite a petition drive by some townspeople who want to have the name changed.

Over 97 percent of the school's 900 students voted to keep the mascot, a bearded blue devil with horns and a pitchfork.

Some parents and townspeople object to the fact that the school mascot is also a symbol of Satan, said Diane Kitts, the Christiansburg resident who organized the drive.

"We don't like the connotations of the name, and we would like to see something different," she said.

"We are not trying to inject religion into the schools," she added.

Ms. Kitts said she has received calls from people "all over the country" who are, or have been, involved in similar disputes.

For now, though, the "Blue Devil" will remain, said Sam Lucas, princi-pal of Christiansburg High School.

Mr. Lucas said it would cost nearly $25,000 to replace the logo, including repainting the gymnasium and replacing "a whole bundle of uniforms."

Ms. Kitt countered that the estimate is inflated "to make the cost look insurmountable.

"The first estimate I heard was $10,000."

She added that the concerned parents do not intend that the school pay the full cost of the changeover. "We wanted to raise money as a community," she said.

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