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With Superintendent's Approval, SEHS Mascot Now Officially "The Axe"

Brian Bull

After more than 80 years, “The Axemen” has been officially axed as South Eugene High School’s mascot. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

4-J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas has approved the recommendation from Principal Andy Dey that changes “The Axemen” to simply, “The Axe.”  This follows weeks of debate and surveying the South Eugene High community.

Julia Scher is a freshman who filed the complaint last year that “Axemen” was discriminatory towards women. From a gusty running track, Scher shares her reaction to the news.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Freshman athlete Julia Scher speaks out at a January 31, 2018 forum at SEHS in favor of eliminating the "Axemen".

“I’m very excited because now I feel equal to my classmates," she tells KLCC.  

"And I think it’s a very first step towards full equality at our school, but this is just the breaking of the ice for many, many, girls at the school who were too afraid to speak out before.”

Backers of the “Axemen” mascot argued it maintained tradition, and disputed it was gender-exclusive.

In his recommendation, Dey says changing the team name won’t incur a significant cost.

The mascot will still portray two crossed axes.  The school colors – purple and white – also will stay.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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