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Letter to the Editor: Listen to students

— To the editor:

I just attended a meeting of the school board-appointed Mascot Committee. What a great job the members are doing of trying to abide by a charter, involve the community, and work within specific guidelines to be sure the high school receives a good new mascot.

At the meeting I heard the high school ASB president announce that the number one choice from the student votes last week was “River Hawks.” That is the same mascot that was chosen nearly 10 years ago by the students from both school districts who were about to merge. The school board at that time decided to go with the “Eagle Indians” idea, but “River Hawks” was what the students voted for.

The Dalles Chronicle published a student editorial about this in February 2004. The article suggested that River Hawks was an original idea that symbolizes our local wildlife. “Try saying River Hawks out loud. Doesn’t it invite itself to be put in cheerleader’s yells and sports announcer’s commentary?” The artwork with the article showed a river hawk swooping down, ready to demolish its prey.

The one concern I heard about this choice is that we don’t want to conflict with the Horizon Hawks of Hood River. Horizon is a private pre-K through 12th grade school with a total of 219 students. Their 1A sports will not conflict with us. And after playing Hood River Valley High School’s Eagles for 10 years as Eagle Indians, I’m surprised this is a concern. Two sets of high school students 10 years apart have now chosen “River Hawks.” Why not let the student votes count?

Robin Despain



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