Cross Keys High School to adopt new mascot

DeKalb County Board of Education last week approved a new mascot for Cross Keys High School. The decision was backed by students, staff, parents, and alumni of the Brookhaven school. 

The school is renaming the mascot from the Indians to the Phoenix after stakeholders “expressed concerns that the current mascot is an inaccurate and unacceptable name for Indigenous people and that the current mascot can lead to offensive stereotypes,” according to a memo from Triscilla Weaver, Area Superintendent of Horizon Schools. 

The memo stated, “Nearly 90% of the students are Hispanic, and the translation of the word ‘Indian’ is problematic in some Spanish dialects.”

The process included a 15-person committee led by school board member Whitney McGinniss, focus groups, a faculty meeting, and community feedback. The Phoenix received a vote of 56% by the community of three mascots offered. 

McGinniss said local and student talent will be used to design the new mascot, and is not anticipated to have financial impact beyond what is already planned in the upcoming renovation. 

Cross Keys is scheduled to begin remodeling in October. Changes include a new performing arts space, bus loop, student drop-off area, additional parking, security, pedestrian paths, and a front door entrance. The track and field area will also be resurfaced.

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