WFISD board breaks silence on mascots

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 9:26 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls ISD board of trustees has finally broken its silence on what they believe should be done about an issue that has come up 10 times for the past several weeks during special session meetings.

The decision on if the mascots of the two new Wichita Falls high schools, Legacy and Memorial, should carry on the traditions of the current Wichita Falls high schools has been one of the most controversial issues in the Wichita Falls community. During Tuesday’s board meeting, tensions were nothing short of high.

“I’m not very proud of what’s going on here right now. I’m not proud that you just want to delete the history of these people and many more that can after them,” an alumni of Wichita Falls High School said.

Even though the Wichita Falls ISD board of trustees didn’t make a decision Tuesday as to whether the two new Wichita Falls high schools should have the mascots Coyotes and Raiders, there was some progress made.

“The goal is for the board to review a proposal to put together a committee, another committee of people throughout our district that is balanced. As far as in the school district, parents, school affiliation, representation and come up with a recommendation to the board for these mascots,” WFISD Superintendent Michael Khurt said. “So the board’s going to consider that and hopefully move forward on next Tuesday for a decision.”

“They made some good suggestions today. Mr. Payton didn’t seem too happy about wanting to postpone or that kind of stuff, but at least it seems like they’re listening to the alumni. We care about it a lot,” Charles Strickland, alumni of Wichita Falls High School, said.

“My granddaughter Chevy has been going to Wichita Falls Rider High School games all her life since she was six months old and she was going to CrockeTt and was a cheerleader. Now she’s in sixth grade and goes to Archer City after she found out about this because she was looking forward to being a coyote,” Dyanne Strickland said. “It’s not necessarily naming the schools, but keeping the mascot we figured was the simplest way to adjust what they’ve done.”

And with schools that are already being built, these are decisions that need to be made sooner rather than later.

“If you decide on a mascot, you have to have a color to go with it, and so I’m more concerned about the color than the mascots,” Khurt said. “We can come up with designs for mascots at some other time but it’s the colors associated with them.

“We’ve already missed orders on several things and several things we’ve had to go ahead and place orders with contractors so they can get pricing,” Khurt said. “Every day we have something that’s the contractor, but I think our community is steeped in tradition and there’s been a lot of success in that history and this has come to a head.”

“When we originally went out with this bond it was two new high schools, two new mascots, two new everything,” Khurt said. “So for me, it’s frustrating for me that we’re just now to this point that we haven’t decided this a long time ago because it’s delaying a lot of our processes, but it is what it is and we’ll continue to work through the process and hopefully come up with colors and mascots soon.”

Khurt said the WFISD board of trustees should be making the decision on whether or not to approve a committee for mascots on Tuesday. WFISD board meetings are open to the public.

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