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Hillsborough approves process to change Chamberlain High mascot

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Posted at 5:58 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 23:15:55-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY  — At Tuesday’s Hillsborough County School Board meeting, board members approved the process to change the existing school mascot at Chamberlain High School.

The Title VI Native American Parent Advisory Council, which was established through federal guidelines for districts, requested that the Chamberlain High School “Chiefs” and East Bay High School “Indians” mascot and relative native imagery be changed.

Chamberlain High School was established in 1956. Students noted wearing a headdress and imitating native dances were traditions in place until recently in the 2018-2019 school year.

School mascot naming is a process determined by student input. Students surveyed the school, staff, and alumna to decide if they should change the mascots.

Chamberlain High School’s Student Government Association (SGA) recommended the change. The SGA at East Bay High School did not recommend their mascot be changed.

The Hillsborough County School Board voted 5 to 1 to change the mascot at Chamberlain High. The high school will start the process of changing its mascot and go back to the board for approval in the Fall.

Erin Maloney, Director of Media and Public Relations for the Hillsborough School District shared this statement with ABC Action News:

Hillsborough County Public Schools values community input and stakeholder involvement at each school. The district responded to requests from Native American groups to rename student mascots at both East Bay and Chamberlain High Schools.

In keeping with established processes, naming mascots is a student-led initiative at the school level. Both Chamberlain and East Bay High School student government bodies were tasked with meeting Native American advocacy groups and surveying students, staff, and alumna to decide if their current mascots should remain.

Chamberlain's student government made the recommendation to change the mascot moving forward following input from students, staff, and their alumni association. We look forward to the process and are excited to see Chamberlain students begin a new tradition that will live on for years to come.