Houston ISD to vote on school mascot changes

HOUSTON - At a meeting that was underway Thursday, the Houston Independent School District discussed changing the school mascot at four schools because the mascots have been deemed to be racially or culturally offensive to some.

Anna Edwards is passionate about her Native American heritage. That's why she believes the time has come for the Houston Independent School District to retire the name controversial mascots, including the Lamar High School Redskins, Hamilton Middle School Indians and the Westbury Rebels.

"We are nation of people who exist here. This is our land, this is our home," said Edwards. "The comments being made are crude and ugly, and all we want is the respect of sovereign nations we are."

Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier recommended the school Board of Trustees retire what many consider offensive or culturally insensitive mascots.

"We would never have the white, black or yellow skins as mascots," said Grier. "Now, it seems to be a good time to retire those mascots that are very, very hurtful to many people and move forward."

Grier said he understands the current mascots were chosen years ago and are traditions that are important to former students and their families.

That's exactly how Joe Koch feels. His children attended and graduated from two of the schools whose mascot names will be changed

"I think it's taken too far. I think they're just names. They were always meant to be names," said Koch. "I disagree with this Rebel can mean a lot of things, Redskins can mean a lot of things, Warriors."

If passed, trustees would take a second vote in January and the new policy would take effect beginning the 2014-2015 school year.

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