The Southern York County School District took one more step toward replacing its former Native American mascot on Thursday.
Students at Susquehannock High School took charge of the design of the new logo and provided an update on their progress at the regular board meeting on Thursday evening. Art teacher Wade Bowers said the group hope to have a final design ready by September.
The students agreed that the new logo should focus on the district’s warrior brand, with most preliminary designs featuring the letter “W”. According to their presentation, the students want the logo to be consistent across the district, but they plan to create two different designs to represent the academic and athletic branding.
The board of directors voted in April to remove the old Native American logo from the district after it was criticized for being insensitive to race. The debate over the former mascot began last year, following calls for the district to change it amid nationwide criticism of the depictions of Native Americans in mascots.
The subject of the district mascot change has been controversial from the start, and several parents continued to resist the change even after the board vote in April. Four parents testified against the ruling Thursday night, arguing that many parents are now wary of the board because parents overwhelmingly supported the district by keeping the former mascot in an online poll.
Board chair Robert Schefter responded to the comments, saying the investigation was only part of a larger process the district undertook during the mascot discussion. The process took about eight months and included hours of research and discussions with Native American leaders, as well as the feedback they received from parents.
“This investigation was seen as the end of everything, and it wasn’t,” Schefter said. “If that was the case, last August we would have done an investigation, and we would not have looked at everything.”