Countdown to 2014-2015: What’s new in HISD #6 — Mascot makeover at four campuses

This is the fifth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.

Two HISD middle schools and two high schools will be sporting new mascots when fall sports launch, in a historic move that saw outdated and culturally offensive symbols replaced in an orderly months-long process.

The Board of Education approved a policy change earlier this year after Superintendent Terry Grier sought new guidelines that would “respect cultural differences, values, and attitudes” by placing a ban on mascots or nicknames using race or ethnicity.

Four schools — Westbury and Lamar high schools and Welch and Hamilton middle schools — came under the new policy and created their own individual processes to select new names that included all segments of the school communities.

In April, the Westbury Rebels and Hamilton Indians became “Huskies,” while the Welch Warriors became the “Wolf Pack,” and Lamar’s Redskins were renamed “Texans.”

HISD has been working closely with schools as they replace the old mascots to assist with ordering new uniforms and removing vestiges of the old symbols from campuses. Schools are being encouraged to have ceremonies to celebrate their new mascots and to retire their old mascots respectfully.

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