ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A group of mothers started an online petition to change the logo and the mascot at one of the elementary schools in the Round Rock Independent School District.
The mascot at Double File Trail Elementary School is currently the Braves.
It’s represented by a logo of a round, smiling cartoon face that has long hair and a headband with a feather sticking out of it.
Heather Snaman told KXAN that that logo has always bothered her since she started taking her daughter to school there more than three years ago.
“It’s a great school. We’ve had great teachers and great administrators, and I really don’t want to take away any of that,” Snaman said. “I just want the logo and the mascot to be something that’s also at that level.”
Her daughter won’t be a student at Double File Trail anymore, but Snaman created a petition with two other women whose children are enrolled there.
“Even if my daughter isn’t going there this year, I do have twin toddlers that probably will be going there in a few years, so I’m still invested in it,” she said.
Snaman has no Native American ancestry or a tribal membership, but she argues that the school’s logo is a demeaning caricature.
“We have a long history in this country of not doing right by Native Americans and First Nations people,” Snaman said. “So if they’re saying it doesn’t feel right, then I think it’s our jobs to do what we can to fix it.”
Earlier this week, though, the executive leadership team at Round Rock ISD agreed to no longer use the logo in question at Double File Trail. Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, the executive director of communications and community relations, said the district will wait to redesign the logo until it knows if the community wants to call the mascot something other than the Braves.
Snaman told KXAN that she’s encouraged by this decision.
“We just want to make sure the words are followed up with actions because this has been a long time coming,” she said.
Brenda Ecord, whose son starts first grade at Double File Trail on August 15, said she can understand how the logo may be perceived as problematic, but she’s more concerned that changing everything could take away critical financial resources.
“This is a Title 1 school,” Ecord said. “This last year, with a new principal, it’s the first year that they’ve had some really outstanding performance and so we need to keep up with that momentum. We need funds for that for those enrichment programs that the principal is initiating.”
She added: “Are we going to use those funds that could go to these enrichment programs to re-brand the whole school? That’s just my concern.”
As of Friday afternoon, the petition has gotten 140 responses to the question: “Do you support changing the mascot logo and name ‘Braves’ of Double File Trail Elementary School in Round Rock Independent School District in Texas?”
Snaman said about 10% of those respondents oppose making any changes.
She, however, suggested that the students should ultimately pick a new mascot.
“Maybe this could be a good opportunity for the community to come together and paint new murals and really make this something that they can have ownership of and something that they can be proud of, instead of an embarrassment,” she said.
The mothers who started the petition plan to present it to the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees at the meeting on August 15.
In an email, LaCoste-Caputo said the district is working to remove the logo from the school’s signage “as soon as possible.” The district already removed the image from the school’s website.