VALLEJO -- The Vallejo school board voted Wednesday to once again remove a Native American symbol as a school mascot.

Solano Middle School, formerly the Chieftains, will now be the Titans.

"The screenplay writer for 'Remember the Titans,' Gregory Howard, was an ex-Solano Middle School student. How cool is that? The circle is complete," Principal Bob Russell said as he gave his presentation to the board.

The 4-0 decision echoed the board's decision late last year to retire the Vallejo High School Apache, citing the offense it causes to indigenous peoples.

Indeed, that process, which included several passionate meetings with Apache mascot opponents and supporters, was the catalyst for the Solano Middle School change.

"While that process was going on, it was suggested and recommended that Solano take a look at its Chieftain mascot -- our Chieftain mascot -- and perhaps do the same," Russell said.

Russell proposed the idea to his school design team, which solicited ideas from parents, staff and students and created a list of 50 suggestions.

That list was narrowed down by the design team to five candidates: Eagles, Scholars, Sharks, Tigers and Titans.

"Overwhelmingly, and I mean overwhelmingly, (the Titans) was selected," Russell said.

While the change will require some re-branding on Solano Middle's part, Russell also assured the board that historic artifacts and artwork will be preserved.


Advertisement

"We're very sensitive to that, and we don't want to seem as if we're being dismissive about what has happened in the past because we are so enthusiastic about moving forward," Trustee Adrienne Waterman said.

Russell said there was very little dissension in his school community, adding that changing a middle school mascot was different from changing a high school mascot.

The decisions come during a time of increasing scrutiny of using Native-American symbols as sports mascots. On Wednesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoked the trademark of the Washington Redskins.