New South Bend School mascot to be named by March 2023
The South Bend School Board is on track to select a new school mascot.
South Bend Superintendent Jon Tienhaara shared that at their June meeting, the board of directors established a new timeline for selecting a mascot for South Bend Jr. Sr. High School.
The new timeline sets March 1, 2023 as the date by which a new mascot will be selected.
The mascot change follows the passage of SHB 1356 that prohibited Washington schools from using Native American names, symbols, and images as school mascots, logos, or team names.
In July 2021, the school removed the name “Indians” from school branding, the same day that Cleveland announced their change from the “Indians” to the “Guardians”
The bill required the change to be in effect by January 2022. According to Tienhaara, the initial goal was to select a new team name prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.
The new timeline follows a year-long pause from when the mascot matter was last discussed.
Despite community outreach and discussion during the spring of 2021, no clear mascot replacement was identified and the board elected to pause the selection process until now.
Until August 31, 2022, the board invites the public to provide ideas for the new mascot.
Input can be provided one of two ways:
- sending an email to school director Wendy Manlow at [email protected]
- completing a feedback form found at: https://forms.gle/ezirv5igjC9hKML37
The board will select possible mascots from the input and provide visuals for the public to view at upcoming fall sports events.
Collected feedback will then be shared with a focus group in January 2023 preceding the March 1, 2023 deadline.
The focus group will evaluate the collected mascot input and provide a recommendation to the board.