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Lansing School Board to discuss reconsidering J.W. Sexton High's new mascot


The Lansing School District Board of Education may be backtracking on its selection of the "Scorpions” as the new mascot for J.W. Sexton High School after community members were critical of the choice.

In the last several months, more than 2,500 students, staff and community members participated in the renaming process for Sexton High School’s mascot.

For decades, the school used the “Big Reds” mascot, which included the use of Native American imagery. This summer, the Lansing School District received $87,000 dollars from the Native American Heritage fund to help cover some of the costs of the rebrand.

At the school board's meeting on Nov. 17, some Sexton community members said their opinions were not represented in the selection process. "J-Dubbs” was the top choice in a poll of four mascot options, beating out the Scorpions.

Kelly Van Schaick, a parent of a student at Sexton, spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

 “So J-Dubbs is what they voted for, what you guys wanted them to do, pick something. They picked something.” She said. “If you ask those kids they designed tons of different things…never thought a scorpion," she said.

For Van Schaick, the board's move demonstrates their unwillingness to reflect the community's values.

During the meeting, board member Missy Lilje made a motion to reconsider the mascot's new name.

“I just feel like we could have one more conversation about the process,” she said.

School Board president Gabrielle Lawrence kicked out two members of the public for speaking out of turn during the meeting.

Lawrence and a spokesperson for the district declined to comment to WKAR on the matter. They said it will be discussed at the board’s next meeting on Dec. 1.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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