BOUNTIFUL, Utah, Nov. 30, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Bountiful High School is dropping its Braves name and will select a more culturally sensitive mascot, it was announced Monday.
School principal Aaron Hogge made the announcement in a YouTube video Monday afternoon (above).
“Bountiful High School opened in 1951, as a 9th and 10th grade school,” Hogge said. “Since 1951, Bountiful has been home of the Braves. Over the years, the theme of Braves and the courage, strength and bravery that is rich in the Native American culture represented our school community. The student body and faculty have utilized this theme to carry forward a terrific educational experience.
“At times, depictions of Native Americans have crossed the line of cultural respect. Maya Angelou said: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ Attempts have been made over the years to become more culturally sensitive. I believe leaders and students in the past have had the best of intentions to create unity, respect, honor, courage and bravery when they used the Braves mascot.”
He said that after a committee process and public listening sessions, he evaluated the impact the mascot has had on all students and community and has decided to begin the process of selecting a new mascot for Bountiful High School.
“To all those who have graduated from Bountiful High School as Braves, that tradition and pride will continue,” Hogge added. “The class of 2021 will graduate as Braves. We will begin the process within our school community of selecting a culturally sensitive mascot that will unite all stakeholders and continue the tradition of unity, respect, honor, courage, bravery and excellence in the classroom and on the stage, court, or field. Thank you.”
The question over whether to change the school’s mascot arose from an online petition from former students. Hogge then formed a committee to seek feedback from Native American groups, community members, staff and students.