Archive for Saturday, July 28, 2001

Alumni fight to keep controversial mascot

July 28, 2001

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— Supporters of Dodge City High School's Red Demon mascot are taking their fight to the streets.

They have entered a pro-mascot float in Saturday's annual Dodge City Days parade and plan to elicit more support along the parade route for the mascot, whose name has come under fire for its evil connotation.

"We know we have huge support in Dodge," said Cindy Ryan, a 1982 Dodge City High School graduate who is leading the project.

The float is being built by a group of school alumni who stay in touch online. Ryan, who lives in Denver, flew back Thursday to Dodge City, when the group started work on the parade entry.

"It concerned us as a group mainly because we think it's kind of silly that people are focusing on a mascot," Ryan said. "One of the things I believe is that nothing negative or satanic has ever happened in connection with the Demon."

Three ministers in the alumni group have told the group that they think the controversy is kind of silly, Ryan said.

About 20 people are expected to ride on the float, with other supporters walking alongside, said 1978 Dodge City High graduate Bruce Cooper of Hutchinson.

They will pass out bumper stickers that read "Ask any Alumni: Demons Forever," the same slogan that will dominate the float.

An opponent of the mascot, Jack Schultz, a Dodge City attorney, said people who agree with his position have no special plans for the parade. But he stressed that the group is opposed to both the Red Demon name and mascot.

"The Scriptures are the source of everything we know about demons, and everything we know about them says they are opposed to God and man," Schultz said. "So our opposition is based primarily on that that we don't want our community to be represented by a mascot that is evil."

School board president Beth Love said the board will address the issue at its Aug. 16 meeting.

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