Goodbye Clairemont Chieftains

Natalie Jacobo, 9th

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The San Diego School Board has decided to change the Clairemont Chieftain mascot as of April 1st saying it offends the Native American culture.

Many local tribal members are upset due to the native representation used in many schools. San Diego Unified School District School Board Director Dr. Joe Kester said, “The local members feel offended because mascots are often animals, so it is like we are referring them to animals.”

School administrator Dr. Fulya tried to explain to the Native American group that the intention was not to offend them, and hoped they would walk away, taking no action.

A member of the Kumeyaay tribe wanted to take the school to court but was convinced not to by Dr. Fulya.

A Kumeyaay local tribe member said, “If they change the mascot our tribe won’t take legal action.”

The offensiveness of specific terms, images, and performances to Native American culture tends to create problems with people’s feelings and personal opinions. The intention of Clairemont high’s mascot has always meant to honor Native Americans by using traits such as being brave, proud, and fierce to depict the school’s student spirit but many local tribal members and others see these as stereotypes.

The widely known Washington Redskins football team has been criticized many times due to the racial slur towards the Kumaya’s and other tribes around the nation.

In the United States, California ranks number one in the nation for the total amount of Native tribes within a state. This results that the state has the most state and federal trial cases from the Native Americans.

Approximately 184 schools use Native American depictions as their mascot in California. After the state banned all use of the term “Redskin,” four schools continue to use it as a school symbol.

Once Clairemont high found out about what happened, most of the students and teachers were very disappointed. Senior April Storie said, “The Chieftains mascot has been here forever, and it’s going to be very sad to see it go.”

Although everybody is sad about seeing it change, people have been asking questions about what it is soon going to be. “What are we going to be then?” said junior G. Otu.

The school board decided to leave the choice of the new mascot up to the students. ASB adviser Mr. T. Rick is going to hold a voting poll in the gym from 7:00 AM to 2:10 PM on April 3rd.

ASB will officially announce the winner on April 6, the same day of the pep rally. Vice Principal Dr. Amay Dum said, “Students have put in some suggestions for a new mascot. I would like it to be “The Flamingos,” but sadly it’s not my choice. I can’t wait for them to announce the winner.”

The choices of a new mascot are leaning towards “The Anteaters” or “The Turkeys,” but none have been chosen. The colors of the school will be changed as well to look similar to the new mascot.

While Clairemont will never be the same, the school is ready to welcome a new mascot.

(APRIL FOOL’S EDITION – APRIL 2018)

27 Comments

27 Responses to “Goodbye Clairemont Chieftains”

  1. Kathy Voros on April 11th, 2018 4:02 PM

    As a long time Chieftain, I have seen this debate go up and down several times. This must be a new generation of Tribes.. The last time the mascot was challenged (by non-Native-Americans), I believe the reply from the Tribes was that they had many more important things to worry about than CHS using the Chieftains as a mascot.
    Those of us who remember Charlie Chieftain would agree that that was indeed a racist mascot (you can still see Charlie Chieftain on some windows in the school). We got rid of that, with apologies to the Tribes. What will we be if we’re not the Chiefs?

  2. Albert-John Freeman on April 16th, 2018 12:59 PM

    I sure hope that this is just another April Fools joke.

  3. Adrian on January 25th, 2019 10:06 AM

    How about the the “Clairemont Surfs”?

  4. carie graves piccirillo on January 25th, 2019 5:30 PM

    My mom was first graduating class of CHS 1960…. her class is the one who brought the mascot and name to fruition….It would be a very sad time to lose something like our mascot and name…. hope this isn’t happening…. Always a Chieftain…. always blue and orange…..

  5. Adviser1819 on January 26th, 2019 12:26 PM

    Our policy is to never respond to comments, good or bad, but as your mom graduated from CHS – This was our April Fool’s edition. Notice the April 1 date and the play on names.

    Mr. Senteno
    Adviser and journalism teacher

  6. Valirue on January 25th, 2019 5:39 PM

    I never thought of the Chieftans as being rasist or putting Native American down in anyway. I always felt they were brave & fierce & I have always been proud to be a Cheiftain..class of 73..

  7. Kitt Faber on January 25th, 2019 9:52 PM

    As a CHS alum (‘89) I am wondering, where is this pool of mascot suggestions are coming from…
    Why not a different spin on the Chiefs idea? Maybe a Naval version? It definitely would be in keeping with something San Diego has in abundance., and is well known for.
    I mean will 14-18 year old predominantly male football players even wear a pink football uniform as a flamingo would they? I mean it’s very gender non-specific-ly progressive of them if they would,, but I have my doubts. Anteater? Really? The intimidation factor of an turkey also greatly lacking.

  8. Oscar on January 26th, 2019 10:39 AM

    Flamingos?! Are you effing kidding me?! So now CHS gives in to the snowflakes and everyone’s offended by everything. Why not just get rid of the image of the mascot but keep the name? And did anyone bother editing this article?

  9. Cheryl on January 26th, 2019 11:20 AM

    I’m a Madison alum but REALLY. We have become a nation of hate. CLAIRMONT has always been the Chieftains. It sad to see a change because a few people have too much hate. The suggestions given in the article as sad options. If the mascot has to change at least keep the colors.

  10. Peter on January 26th, 2019 12:09 PM

    The new name should be something based on Fast Times at Ridgemont High. 🙂

  11. Marsha DeWitt on January 26th, 2019 12:45 PM

    I find that things that are not racist is considered racist by some, those people are probably racist. Because of things like this happening…… future generations will not be proud of our Native American Indian culture. Will there be a Native American Indian culture? Future generations might forget about them.

  12. Karl Castillo on January 26th, 2019 1:55 PM

    Talked to a friend who attended Tulare HS. He said that Tulare changed their nickname from Redskins to Tribe.
    It cost about $1.2 million to do the conversion (cost for supplies, new logos, uniforms, etc.). CHS should put their old stuff up for sale to alumni.

  13. Lawrence Castillo on January 26th, 2019 3:32 PM

    GLAD CHS FINALLY CATCHING UP TO SENSITIVITY. ALWAYS WAS A RACIST DEPICTION, NO MATTER HOW IT WAS PICTURED, FROM CARTOON MASCOT TO URSUPED NAME. MAYBE IF THIS NATION WAS NOT FOUNDED UPON OR STILL ENGAGED IN THE GENOCIDE OF A NATIVE PEOPLE COULD INTELLIGENCE BE FORGIVEN FOR THE CALLOUSNESS OF SHRUGGING OFF OFFENSIVE ONGOING OPENING OF WOUNDS OF A CAPTURED NATION. MAYBE WHEN I WAS A DESIGNATED “CHIEFTAIN” SO LONG AGO, IF ADULTS IN CONTROL WOULD HAVE EMPHASIZED THE TRUTH OF HISTORY ALONG WITH THE EMPATHY NEEDED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT NATIVE AMERICANS MUST GO THROUGH TO SURVIVE AS A CAPTURED CONQUERED CULTURE AND PEOPLE, MAYBE THIS LONG OVERDUE CONVERSION WOULD NOT EVEN RAISE AN EYEBROW, MUCH LESS A RACIST QUESTION MARK. I APPLAUD THE MOVE. WHILE SIGHING THAT CHARLIE HAS LASTED THIS LONG, BUT WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM SUCH A BACKWARDS NUMB NATION WHOSE CAPITOL CHEERS A DISGUSTING NFL TEAM BRAND SO RACIST IT HORRIFIES WHILE EXCUSING THE INSULT BY CLAIMING “TRADITION” MAKES IT A NAMESAKE FOR THE TERM “INDIAN,” ITSELF AN INSULT. HOW ABOUT THE WASHINGTON “WHITESKINS,” WHICH I AM SURE THE CURRENT WHITE SUPREMACISTS WOULD CHEER LOUDLY, OR, SINCE NAZIISM IS MAKING A COMEBACK, HOW ABOUT THE WASHINTON JEW-COOKERS? ANYBODY SENSING THE INSULTING INSENSITIVITY? MAYBE THERE IS A NOBLER NAME OUT THERE THAT MAY HONOR RATHER THAN INSULT, TEACH RATHER THAN PROLONG THE REINFORCEMENT OF GENOCIDE. MAYBE IT IS TIME TO LEAVE THE CONQUERED TO THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND HEALING. SAN DIEGO HAS A DICTIONARY DEFINING ITS CULTURE, I SUGGEST WE PROUDLY USE IT. I VOTE FOR THE CLAIREMONT “KOWABUNGAS,” A NAME WHICH SUMS UP NOT ONLY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PRIDE, BUT WHICH IS A SYNONYM FOR HIGH SKOOL EDUCATION. ALSO, I THINK IT APPROPRIATE TO CHANGE THE SPIRIT SONG TO “WIPEOUT.” AS IN SURFING, NOT GENOCIDE…… https://youtu.be/p13yZAjhU0M

  14. Matthew Edmondson on January 31st, 2019 10:16 AM

    Bruh! It is an April Fools joke! omg dude!

  15. Joseph Davies on January 31st, 2019 10:17 AM

    I almost thought it was real, then I saw the date. Great April Fools joke!

  16. Luke on January 31st, 2019 10:17 AM

    APRIL FOOLS GOOD JOKE 😀

  17. Adults are Clueless on January 31st, 2019 10:17 AM

    This is an April Fools joke y’all got to calm down.

  18. asd123asd on January 31st, 2019 10:18 AM

    That’s a really good story, hahaha!

  19. Allan on January 31st, 2019 10:18 AM

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha super funny, whoever wrote this really fooled my mom.

  20. Sean Woolsey on January 31st, 2019 10:18 AM

    This is a really funny April Fools story Dr. Joe Kestar and Dr. Fulya in place of Jokester and Fool you. HAHAHAHAHA! Well done.

  21. Ivan Ward on January 31st, 2019 10:18 AM

    Love the April Fools joke! LOL

  22. Ibrahim on January 31st, 2019 10:19 AM

    HA-HA funny

  23. Tatum Denny on January 31st, 2019 10:19 AM

    Wow, I can’t believe this! R.I.P Clairemont Chieftains – Gotcha! April Fools!!

  24. offensive dude on January 31st, 2019 10:19 AM

    Hahahhaahhahahahahahha, this is a good April Fools story.

  25. Jarvis Rodriguez on January 31st, 2019 10:21 AM

    This is a good APRIL FOOLS STORY. There are some great FAKE NAMES like Dr.Fulya which is “Fooled Ya,” and Joe Kester which is “Jokester.” These APRIL FOOLS STORIES are funny and a great TRADITION among the JOURNALISM CLASS.

  26. Theo Fain on January 31st, 2019 10:22 AM

    hahhhhhahaahahha very funnnnny

  27. Jaquelyn Valle on January 31st, 2019 10:22 AM

    That was a very funny story because it’s not true.

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