HAYS COUNTY, Texas – Students at Hays High School will be getting a new school mascot after the school board voted to retire the school’s “rebel” mascot on Thursday.
What You Need To Know
- Students led movement asking for mascot change
- District board voted in favor on Thursday
- Will begin looking for a new mascot this fall
- May take a full school year before mascot is fully launched
Conversations about whether the mascot should be replaced were reignited last month after nationwide protests on racial injustice.
Previously, the district said it would not consider changing the mascot unless there was a student-led movement asking for the change. But after students did exactly that, district officials released a statement saying they would recommend the school start looking for a new mascot.
“Based on student, teacher, and community feedback, the Hays CISD administration will recommend that the Board of Trustees vote to change the Hays High School rebel mascot. The mascot of a high school is supposed to serve as a unifying symbol and a rallying-point for school pride – a way for all students to collectively celebrate their academic, athletic, and fine arts accomplishments and cheer on their teams. When a mascot mires the school in political controversy and pits students, families, and community members against each other; it is time to change,” read the district’s statement.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mascot will remain temporarily and once students return to class this fall, whether it be in person or virtually, there will be a district mascot selection process.
From there the district says it will begin designing a new school logo and branding. It’s estimated that the new mascot may not be fully launched until the end of this coming school year.
In the meantime, students who do not want to wear athletic gear or uniforms with the rebel imagery will not be required to do so. District leaders say covering the rebel logo could be an option for those students.
Leadership will also be removing rebel references from school websites, walls, and other school buildings in anticipation of the change.