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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Dodge City struggles with Demon mascot

High school mascot comes under fire

July 4, 2001

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— A group opposed to Dodge City High School's Red Demon mascot plans to take the issue before the school board next month.

The mascot has been under fire primarily from church groups upset with its underworld overtones but there has been little support for a change in the Red Demon moniker and logo among officials in the school district.

However, district administrator Alan Cunningham said the school board has not taken an official stance on the mascot issue and hasn't addressed it during a board meeting. There was a public comment session during an April meeting.

Jack Shultz, a Dodge City attorney on the 10-member New Image Mascot Committee, said the group doesn't want to be pre-empted.

"We have information and arguments that we want to present, and I think they need to at least consider what we have to say before they make a decision," he said. "I think it's information that could help them make the final decision, either way."

After the group's report, planned for the Aug. 13 school board meeting, Shultz said he would like to see the board pass an official resolution indicating whether board members support changing the mascot to something that "would present a more positive image of the community."

The group's primary concern isn't the Red Demon, but the red devil logo being used to represent the school, Shultz said. He said he'd be willing to explore changes that wouldn't require wholesale changes in equipment such as athletic uniforms. Some school board members have expressed concerns about the cost of any change.

"I think the board should deal with it on its merits and I would like to see some action," Shultz said.

The mere discussion of altering the mascot has been a source of contention in the community. There have been other, unsuccessful movements in the past to change the mascot, most recently in the late 1980s.

Supporters have stuck by the demon mascot through the opposition, which included a march in early June by local churchgoers.

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