Southern York County School District moves closer to replacing old mascot

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
Susquehannock logo on a banner at Susquehannock High School Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Southern York County School District moved one step closer to replacing its former Native American mascot Thursday.

Susquehannock High School students have taken charge in designing the new logo and gave an update on their progress at the board's regular meeting Thursday night. Art teacher Wade Bowers said the group hopes to have a final design ready by September. 

The students agreed the new logo should focus on the district's warrior brand, with most of the preliminary designs featuring the letter "W." According to their presentation, the students want the logo to be consistent across the district, but they are considering creating two different designs to represent academic and athletic branding. 

The board voted in April to retire the district's old Native American logo after it was criticized for being racially insensitive. Debate about the old mascot started last year, following calls for the district to change it amid nationwide criticism of depictions of Native Americans in mascots.

More:Southern York County students propose focusing on warrior image in upcoming rebranding

More:Southern York County schools to retire Native American mascot

The topic of changing the district's mascot has been controversial since the beginning, and several parents have continued to resist the change even after the board's April vote. Four parents spoke against the decision Thursday night, arguing that many parents now distrust the board because parents overwhelmingly supported the district keeping the old mascot in an online survey. 

Board President Robert Schefter responded to the comments, saying that the survey was only one part of a large process the district undertook in the mascot discussion. The process took about eight months to complete, and it included hours of research and discussions with Native American leaders alongside the feedback they received from parents. 

"That survey was taken as the end-all be-all, and it wasn't," Schefter said. "If that was the case, last August we would've done a survey, and we wouldn't have gone through everything."