Board Votes to Retire Hays High School Rebel Mascot
On Thursday, July 16, 2020, the Hays CISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to retire the Hays High School rebel mascot, clearing the way for a new mascot selection process to being in the coming months.
The district said in a July 6, 2020 statement, “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.”
With district attention concentrated on managing the COVID-19 pandemic and not enough time to make a full mascot change in advance of the upcoming school year, the high school will continue to be “the rebels” in the short-term. When Hays High School students return to class this fall, the district will conduct a comprehensive new mascot selection process. Once a new mascot is decided, the district will partner with a graphics design team, utilizing free services from existing vendors, to create a new logo and brand package. After that, the school can begin ordering uniforms, signage, and equipment with the new logo. It’s not likely that a new mascot would be ready to launch until the spring semester at the very earliest. And, since changing mascots mid-year, and mid-season for competitive teams and clubs, may be too disruptive, it is possible that “the rebels” won’t be fully retired until the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Students who do not wish to wear uniforms with “rebels” on them would not be required to do so. References to “rebels” on their uniforms could be covered. Additionally, the campus could begin phasing out ‘rebel’ depictions on websites, walls, and other places around the building in anticipation of the change.
Hays CISD banned the official use of the confederate flag at the campus in 2000. In 2012, the district banned the display of the flag on all district property, ending its unofficial association with the campus. In 2015, the district retired Dixie as the Hays High School fight song.
For reference and additional information, see the district’s July 6, 2020 statement, on the rebel mascot.