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Azusa High School Will Keep Its Aztec Name, But The Logo Will Go

Azusa Unified School District logo
The Azusa Unified School Board voted to keep the Aztec nickname for Azus
(Screenshot from Azusa Unified School District board meeting via YouTube)
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Azusa High School can keep its Aztecs nickname and the current school colors, but the mascot logo will undergo a change.

That’s the decision after a unanimous vote by the Azusa Unified School Board on Tuesday night, reversing a previous decision to change the mascot.

The high school’s logo depicts an Indigenous figure in a headdress. Many Native Americans have called for an end to derogatory Native American mascots.

A number of organizations, including professional sports teams such as the Washington Commanders and the Cleveland Guardians, have taken similar actions in recent years, following years of condemnation from Native Americans and civil rights organizations.

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Board member Yolanda Rodriguez-Peña said the current logo is "insensitive" to Native Americans, who have reached out to convey their opposition.

"The headdress is a sacred object that was earned through the years of battle," Rodriguez-Peña said. "Native Americans are not a character or a mascot. We are stereotyping the Indigenous people."

Still, she said she’s OK with keeping the Azusa Aztec name. Rodriguez-Peña's problem is with the way the mascot is depicted.

Indigenous groups will provide input to a yet-to-be-formed committee tasked with coming up with a new design.

More than 3,800 people signed an online petition to keep the Aztec mascot.

The mascot change coincides with the decision tomerge Gladstone High School with Azusa High starting in 2022-2023 due to decreased enrollment.

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