DENVER – A Colorado high school adopted a new mascot to replace the previous emblem recalling a symbol of the Confederacy.
Denver South High School announced Friday it is now the home of the Ravens, which will replace the Rebels mascot name held throughout the nearly 100-year history of the school, The Denver Post reported.
The old mascot no longer seemed “appropriate, acceptable, or an accurate representation of what South stands for,” Principal Bobby Thomas said.
The school conducted focus groups and online surveys over the past six months and a committee determined the new mascot.
“Ravens are smart, clever birds that are known to be strategic problem solvers. They are empathetic, loyal creatures that form lifelong bonds,” Thomas said.
The bird was also chosen for being an “inclusive animal,” Thomas said.
“It has a long history of being held in high regard both in Native American culture and others throughout the world, and ravens are not associated with any particular gender or race,” Thomas said.
Denver Public Schools launched initiatives throughout the district to build a more inclusive culture including plans to offer more Black, Native American and Latino history courses.
Denver Public Schools Board Member Tay Anderson said he hopes other schools will take note of the Denver South mascot update.
“It’s symbolic, but it’s also telling us and our children for generations to come that we learned from our mistakes and we will no longer enable a white supremacist culture in our school system,” Anderson said.