Petition to keep ‘Dixie’ at Patrick Henry High School gathers thousands of signatures


Nearly 2,300 signatures have been collected on a petition to keep Patrick Henry High School’s unofficial fight song as “Dixie” since an announcement was made last week that the tune will be replaced.
The school in Glade Spring, Virginia will no longer play ‘Dixie’ during sporting events like they did in the past.

Austin Stanley graduated from PHHS in 2016 and says he always loved hearing the marching band play the song during football games.

“The students love it, I mean, whenever I was sitting in the stands at the football games I would love to get up there and just hear ‘charge Dixie’ going all the way through halftime,” Stanley said.

But when the Patrick Henry High School Rebels take the football field in just a few weeks, that song will no longer be played.

Assistant Superintendent of Washington County, Virginia Schools, Jeff Noe, told News Channel 11 last week that the school district wants to create a fight song for the school as a way to embrace everyone in the community.

“I think it was just in an effort to have a song that identifies with Patrick Henry High School that embraces the whole school community and exemplifies who they are,” Noe said.

Stanley said the community was not aware of the change and that’s why he created a petition on in hopes of bringing the song back.

“I really think that we all should have been consulted, even if it was just a few people instead of just poof gone,” he said.

As of Monday afternoon, the petition had nearly 2,300 signatures and Stanley hopes to gather enough to bring the song back to the stands by the time school starts.

“If you don’t like it, either sit out don’t play it, or just leave for that few minutes or whatever and then come back in instead of making a big fuss about it. It’s been there for close to 60 years why want to change it now?,” he said.

News Channel 11 reached out to the school in hopes of talking to the principal and assistant principal about this but were told they were not in.

 The Washington County, Virginia School board has a meeting scheduled for next Monday at 7 p.m.

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