This year, the school district has made a decision that may or may not have every staff member in a nervous frenzy. The Solano County of Education superintendent, Jay Speck, has decided to do a “mascot-switch” in an attempt to stop all the “mascot hate” opposing schools have been receiving from the Panther’s athletic teams.
The last few football, water polo, golf, and tennis games have involved the Panther’s pride section booing the opposing team, as well as a low moral of student spirit, contributed by people defacing the panther school, refusal of participation of spirit days, and the anti-rally. The recent American-Canyon vs Benfica football game left Benicia with a loss, and left American-Canyon’s stadium completely trashed; hotdogs and color powder was strewn everywhere, staining clothes and bleacher seats.
“Rivalries between schools should be strictly for sports,” Speck explained. “The added vandalism of stadiums, open verbal hostility, and negative school relations has forced our hands. We hope that switching mascots will promote respect and understanding across all school sites.”
Principal Kleinschmidt presented the news to the faculty in an October staff meeting. Though not without reservations, she is confident that the mascot switch will help boost the school’s community spirit, and help students come together as a “pack.”
With the exception of a few easily addressed concerns, faculty members accepted the decision openly. The Benicia High Panthers will switch mascots with the American Canyon Wolves the next year. We as students need to stop putting down the other teams and come together as one wolf pack.
A student forum will be held October 32, 2016 at lunch so that students may register their thoughts on the matter. However, currently it is looking like Benicia High School students should start dusting off their black and gold attire for the 2017-2018 academic year.
By Abi Seaman