By Mike DeSantisAssociated PressPosted Feb 06, 2018 12:21AMCLEVELAND (AP) The school mascot for a Cleveland high school has been a popular part of the school’s curriculum since at least the 1940s.
But as the school has seen a steady decline in enrollment over the last several years, the school is considering whether to rename the mascot after a high school classmate of the late Jerry West.
Principal Bill J. Cappo said in a statement that the school, which has about 300 students, “would like to thank Jerry West and his family for their tremendous contributions to the school.”
A few other names have been suggested: Johnny West, Johnny J., Johnny’s Man, Johnny’s Pisser and Johnny’s Horse.
Cappo says the school will have a discussion about the idea with the school board.CAPPO said that the decision was not taken lightly, given that the mascot was created in 1939.
“He’s our school mascot, he’s a symbol of our school, and it’s a great honor for the school to have him,” he said.
The school’s mascot has also been a fixture on the school grounds for decades.CALLING ALL TEENSSTo mark the first anniversary of the start of the Trump administration, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the district will begin using a new mascot for its elementary school in March.
The district’s superintendent, John Fetterman, said in an email to the newspaper that the change was necessary because of the current climate in the nation and the school district’s ongoing efforts to promote a more diverse and inclusive environment.
He said the district hopes the change will help the students “understand that they are part of a larger group of students.”
The name is not unique to the Cleveland school district.
Several other districts have adopted new school mascots in recent years.
The Plain Dealer reports that some of the new names are inspired by the history of the mascot.
The mascot, nicknamed The Mighty Joe, was given the name Johnny Joe after the legendary Cleveland-born boxing champion and World War II hero.
The new name was announced in February and the new mascot will be given the nickname Johnny Joe as well.