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More signatures added to petition to keep Hays High mascot

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 8:18 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Two petitions center around the debate to keep or to change the Hays High Indians mascot.

As of this evening, the counter petition has 3,073 signatures. The petition “To Keep the Hays High Mascot of the Indian,” was created by Cade Becker on June 28th.

Becker is an incoming sophomore at Hays High School.

The 15-year-old said in an interview with KWCH, “Our reason (for keeping the mascot) is because of how beautiful their culture was. And how strong and brave they were as people, and are as people. So in my opinion, I really want to keep this mascot. It’s a beautiful mascot and I don’t think we should lose it.”

Becker started the petition two days after the “Change Hays High Mascot!” petition was created by graduate, Delphine Burns.

In an interview last week, Burns said, “This is something I have been reflecting on since I graduated and I was involved in a lot of other activism when I was in school and never spoke out against the mascot, which I feel is racist.”

She added, “And I just know there are plenty of Native Americans that do not find it to be a positive representation. They find it to be a caricature of their culture.”

As of this evening, Burns’ petition has 2,277 signatures.

In a search for the two petitions on Change.org, only Burns’ petition is listed.

Becker said, “When I first saw that, I was honestly kind of mad, because I don’t understand why they should’ve done that.”

KWCH reached out to Change.org regarding the omission of Becker’s petition but have not received a response.

Hays USD 489 Superintendent Ron Wilson said the Hays Board of Education hasn’t yet had a conversation about the issue but believes it’s important to listen and learn from those who may find offense with the high school’s mascot.

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