Students say let new EHS colors, mascot stay

YOUNGSTOWN — Several hundred city schoolchildren have asked the school board not to rescind its decision to make the new East High School colors light blue and silver and the school mascot a panther.

A group of senior female students from The Rayen and Wilson high schools appeared before the board of education last week bearing a letter as well as a petition signed by about 300 students urging the board to stand firm on its decision.

The women wore white T-shirts emblazoned with “East Football” in the new school’s colors and bearing a likeness of the panther mascot.

The letter was signed by Rayen seniors Brittnie Mascarella, Talia Hullum and Bianca Diaz and was prompted by a resolution proposed at the board’s Jan. 9 meeting that called for a reconsideration of the colors and mascot.

It proposed another student vote on those issues, but it was pulled from the agenda with President Michael Write saying the proposal would be assigned to a board committee for review and recommendation.

The resolution said a large number of East alumni and alumni associations questioned the “validity and fairness” of the earlier student ballot to pick a mascot and colors because it didn’t include the old East mascot (golden bears) or colors (dark blue and gold) as an option.

It even said that an East alumnus is willing to pick up the “reasonable” cost of a new student vote.

East High School was closed and converted to a middle school in 1998. The middle school kept the golden bears mascot and dark blue and gold colors.

But that school has now also been closed and the pupils moved into the new P. Ross Berry Middle School, which has already adopted the new panther mascot and the new blue and silver school colors.

A new East High School is under construction at a cost of about $30 million and is scheduled to open this fall.

The student letter writers said they were part of the group that organized the student balloting on the mascot and colors two years ago.

“This was done by students for the students. We were allowed a voice in this process and this was our decision and choices,” the letter said.

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