Impassioned community packs into East High to discuss mascot change

It was the last community meeting before the new academic year begins for the Youngstown City Schools

Youngstown East High mascot debate

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Golden Bears or Panthers? That debate was a big point of discussion at a Youngstown City Schools community meeting Thursday night.

Over 100 people packed into East High’s auditorium for the last community meeting before the new academic year begins. It’s the turnout Mohip said he’s always wanted.

“We’ve come a long way from those days where we would have a meeting and one person would show up. Clearly, well over 100 people here, everybody passionate, everyone expressing their opinions.”

Lots of opinions, particularly on changing East High’s mascot back to the Golden Bears.

“It should be Golden Bears because then we would have more parent support for academics and for the sports,” one teacher said.

For alums, the Golden Bear is more than a mascot — it’s history.

“The school was renamed on top of being rebuilt. It just created a total disconnect and I think this re-establishes the trust and that connection that has been missing,” said community activist Keland Logan.

Mascots weren’t the only thing covered — CEO Krish Mohip also asked the community for feedback on the past year. A meeting at Chaney focused on how the school district is doing as a whole. Many gave the district a thumbs up.

One woman said thanks to all the changes, Youngstown schools are finally moving in the right direction.

“Change is different. Change is hard sometimes but it’s better that they change it when they’re young and get adjusted,” Wanda Coleman said.

Unlike East, there really wasn’t a lot of discussion on a school mascot at Chaney.

Mohip said he and his team will look over the responses and make a decision on whether or not to change the mascots.

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