HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hays High School is expected to replace its “Rebel” mascot following survey results among students, teachers and staff — pending a vote from the school board.
In a release on Monday, Hays Consolidated Independent School District administration announced it will recommend the change to the school board, saying the rebel mascot isn’t serving its purpose as a unifying symbol.
Based on local school board policy, the board of trustees must vote to change an existing secondary school mascot. The board is expected to consider the mascot issue as early as later this month, Hays CISD says.
Hays CISD reports nearly 60% of students and more than 70% of the teachers and staff members surveyed said they have little to no comfort with the current mascot. More than a quarter of the students and nearly a third of teachers and staff reported being very uncomfortable with the rebel mascot, Hays CISD says.
“When a mascot mires the school in political controversy and pits students, families, and community members against each other; it is time to change,” the release reads.
Hays CISD says it listened to reasons on both sides of the discussion, but said in the release that “the mere fact that the rebel mascot is indisputably divisive is enough to warrant its change.”
Pending the board of trustees vote, students will get to vote on their favorite choice for a new mascot that will be recommended to the board for consideration.
The top choices, based off the student survey, are: Hawks, Hornets, Patriots, Cowboys, Eagles, Hurricanes, Hyenas, Phoenixes, Lions, Mavericks, Wildcats, Dragons, and Honey Badgers. Students will receive links this week to select their favorite option.
The third-party survey gauged responses from 1,152 students from ninth grade through 12th grade out of 2,325 survey invitations. 684 students reported showing little to no comfort with the rebels mascot.
Out of 265 teacher and staff surveys, there were 146 responses. 105 staff members reported showing little to no comfort in the rebels mascot.