Long running controversy surrounding Buda Hays’ mascot could be ending

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Central Texas’ longest running mascot controversy could end during a Hays Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees Meeting on Thursday.

An agenda item on the district’s website shows the board is scheduled to consider and possibly vote on the retirement of the Rebel mascot for Buda Hays Consolidated High.

“The administration recommends that the Board retire the Rebel mascot and authorize prior approval to allow the superintendent to determine a new mascot, without repairing an additional Board vote, following a student selection process that would occur one students return to class, whether in-person or virtually, in the 2020-2021 school year,” read the recommendation.

Hays is one of three high schools in the district. The district administration released a statement last month after receiving feedback from a third-party survey given to students, teaches and staff in the Hays CISD.

The school was named after John Coffee “Jack” Hays, a Texas Ranger captain and Mexican War officer. The other high school mascots in the Hays CISD are the Lobos (Kyle Lehman) and Jaguars (Buda Johnson).

The school’s namesake was neutral during the Civil War, but Hays High has a history of using Confederate imagery and tradition. Hays used the Confederate flag as a school symbol until 2000 and the flag was permitted on campus until 2012. “Dixie,” the de facto Confederate national anthem, was used as the school’s fight song until 2015.

A total of 902 responses were collected for the mascot survey. The results of the survey show 13 new selections with Patriots, Cowboys and Hawks being the most popular with 143, 127 and 123 votes, respectively.

The other mascots on the survey were Hawks, Wildcats, Dragons, Hurricanes, Honey Badgers, Mavericks, Hornets, Phoenixes, Hyenas, Lions and Eagles. The survey does note that while the selections may be considered in choosing a new mascot, the response rate is not sufficient to be considered a reliable representation of the student choice.

The special meeting begins at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at Johnson High.

Links/Sources
https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhabq
https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1858?meeting=349183

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