After many months and many votes, John Burroughs High School’s Associated Student Body announced the bear will replace the Indian as its mascot. More than 1,700 students participated in the process of selecting between a phoenix and a bear. The school will now move forward in designing a new logo. ASB President Nadaly Jones spearheaded the movement early in the school year and most of her fellow ASB representatives supported her. Nearly two-thirds of the student body voted in favor of a change last December. “ASB and I would like to thank everyone who participated in helping change the mascot,” Jones said during a Board of Education meeting on Thursday. “This important change would not have been possible without the support and involvement of many. Each of you played an important part in this monumental movement. We are so grateful that we have been able to help our student body’s voices be heard and help create the change they wanted to see. Go Bears!”
It may be a new year, but the concerns remain the same for the Burbank Unified School District. In the first official Board of Education meeting of 2021, Superintendent Matt Hill on Thursday apprised stakeholders and board members of a challenging road ahead in regard to planning for the current and following school year and the projected budget deficit. Responding to public comments about the possible reopening of schools for in-person instruction, Hill said he does not anticipate it happening during the current academic year because of the COVID-19 case rate in Los Angeles County and the slow rollout of vaccines. “The state requirement, as stated, is cases must be below 25 per 100,000 people [for campuses] to be allowed to reopen, and L.A. County is triple that right now,” Hill informed the board and community members. “As far as potential for reopening schools to the fullest extent this year, that is very unlikely in L.A. County.”
With wide support from classmates, teachers and administrators, the John Burroughs High School Associated Student Body is officially in search of a new mascot. Of the 1,540 votes from the student body, 63.7% supported a change. The Indian has been the mascot since JBHS was established in 1948. “It was a large turnout of voters,” said Matt Hill, the Burbank Unified School District’s superintendent, who was pleased with the result. “It was great that a lot of students weighed in and got to vote.” The process, spearheaded by ASB President Nadaly Jones, a senior, began in August with research performed by ASB members and a discussion amid concerns that the school symbol was racist and outdated. Of the 40 student government representatives, 37 voted to bring the issue to Burroughs students.
During her freshman year, Nadaly Jones recalled the then-Associated Student Body president was “gung-ho” about discussing the possibility of changing the John Burroughs High School mascot, the Indian. She has since taken that mantle and is determined to accomplish what her predecessors could not. “I want to change it,” Jones said. “It’s about time. I had teachers last year who were also trying to change it. I wanted to get the ball rolling again.” Jones has done just that as ASB representatives, and after much deliberation, recently voted in favor of continuing the discussion by presenting the issue to the student body. “The first night was interesting, but it was also hard because it was online,” Jones said. “A lot of people were iffy speaking up to it, but we did have really good discussions and brought up both sides of the topic.”