During the week of June 29, HCISD sent over 2,000 invitations to students and teachers to participate in a survey created by the district’s administration and to indicate their comfort level with the Rebel mascot. Their responses were recorded on a seven-point scale, from very uncomfortable to very comfortable, according to a press release sent by the district.
Feedback obtained by over 1,200 survey responses showed that 71.91% of 146 teachers felt little to no comfort with the school’s mascot. Similarly, 59.37% of 1,152 students felt uncomfortable with the Rebel mascot.
“When more than a quarter of the students, and nearly a third of the teachers and staff members, are very uncomfortable with the current mascot; that mascot fails in its objective. 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 district said in a statement.
The school district also mention two petitions that may be considered by trustees when making their decision to remove the Rebel mascot, one of which was student-led and garnered more than 500 signatures.
Students were also asked about potential new mascots in the survey sent by the HCISD administration. Of the answers submitted by students, the top qualifying mascot choices were Hawks, Hornets, Patriots, Cowboys, Eagles, Hurricanes, Hyenas, Phoenixes, Lions, Mavericks, Wildcats, Dragons and Honey Badgers.
“The administrative recommendation and the potential board decision to change the mascot is not intended to erase campus history or cast any type of judgment on past supporters of the Hays High School Rebels,” the school district said in a statement.
HCISD board of trustees are expected to vote on the mascot change as early as late July.