HISD unveils new mascots for Lamar, Westbury HS

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 9:10 PM

HOUSTON -- At the end of this school year, four HISD schools will officially change mascot names.

Houston Independent School District officials unveiled the new names Tuesday. They were changed after complaints that the old names were culturally insensitive.

"Lamar High School will be the Lamar Texans," said Principal James A McSwain at a news conference.

"If there are people who found it offensive it's time for us to recognize that not all of Texas history is something we want to celebrate," said Angela Young, a 1979 Lamar graduate.

Over at Westbury High a decades old tradition of being the Rebels is over. They will now be called the Huskies.

"I don't like it," said Westbury 10th grader Robert Evans. "I think that it's ugly. They should have kept it as the Rebels."

"For us, we don't celebrate the Rebel as a Confederate soldier. We celebrate it as us going against the norm, like us being us," said Westbury senior Makala Lunday.

HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier admitted the name changes have been very controversial.

"I know it's hard. It's tough and I promise you it's not easy to sit at a meeting and have people threaten me over leading this discussion," said Grier.

Hamilton Middle School Indians will become the Hamilton Huskies.

"If somebody gets mad (at the name change)," said Jarris Jones, a Hamilton 7th grader. " I'll just say, 'Well, you have to deal with it.'"

The Welch Middle School Warriors will become the Wolf Pack.

Young has a message for everyone who is upset by the changes.

"Your fondest memories of the school have really not much to do with the mascot," Young said. "They have to do with all the fun we had and the great friendships that we forged, not about the name."

The new names were selected by student vote or by committees made up of students, staff and alumni. Changing uniforms and signs at all the campuses will cost about $300,000, according to Grier.

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