The Mount Diablo Unified School District board in the Bay Area of California has made a costly decision to do away with Concord High School’s long-standing “Minutemen” mascot. Some members of the school district were concerned about the mascot “showcasing a firearm” while others wanted a mascot that is gender inclusive.
Concord, a town located approximately 30 miles outside San Francisco, was named after an eponymous town in Massachusetts, which is also the site of the famous Battles of Lexington and Concord during the America Revolutionary War. The high school’s longtime mascot, Minutemen, was named after those who fought against the British.
Now, Concord High School is scrapping its mascot in favor of the Bears, after a 4-1 vote on Wednesday by the school district’s board, according to a report by Fox News.
The mascot change is an expensive one, estimated to cost about $200,000, according to NBC Bay Area, which added that talks about changing the mascot began last year, after the school district decided to “replace its human mascots with non-human mascots.”
The district reportedly “expressed concerns” about the mascot “showcasing a firearm,” while others in the district wanted a name that was gender inclusive.
The Republican Party chairman of Contra Costa County, Matt Shupe, reacted to the cost of changing the school’s mascot, calling it a “dramatic waste of money that has hundreds of better uses.”
“If this school district were a business or non-profit you could sue them for defrauding the taxpayers for misuse of funds, violating donor intent,” Shupe told Fox News.
“When people are asked and they support more funding for our education system, it’s with the intent of increasing the quality of the education provided, not deface our history and culture,” he added. “The voters need to hold these extremist cultural activists parading as school board members accountable in November 2024.”
Meanwhile, Linda Mayo, a member of the Mount Diable Unified School board, defended the decision to strip the high school of its long-standing mascot, saying “If changing a mascot will make students feel welcomed, embraced and empowered them to participate more at the school, then I will support this.”
In an even more bizarre thought process, Adam Clark, the superintendent of Mount Diablo Unified School District, told the outlet that the mascot change was “in response to the mass shootings and killings of students on school campuses,” and that the “male minutemen soldier holding a rifle was not a symbol many of our students and staff felt created a welcoming environment.”