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6 Investigates: Transparency concerns with mascot change - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

6 Investigates: Transparency concerns with mascot change

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CORPUS CHRISTI -

Two emailed complaints.

That's what CCISD School Board member Catherine Susser tells 6 Investigates kick-started a conversation among school officials about changing the Hamlin Middle School logo - and mascot - to something other than "Rebel."

"I received two separate emails from two citizens expressing concern about the mascot," Susser emailed soon after midnight, October 12.

It was then that CCISD Superintendent Roland Hernandez, given the "national climate," made the decision to "start a conversation" about changing the mascot, altogether, Susser says.

It's not that the Superintendent acted outside of his authority - a district spokeswoman says the he can make decisions like that, without board input.

However, an open government expert tells 6 Investigates that decision should have been made by the elected school board, not the Superintendent.

"Seems like the school board ought to recognize that in a democracy, it is these kinds of decisions (that) ought to be made by elected officials...in an open forum," says Bill Aleshire, an Austin-based lawyer who help write state open government laws.

Now, as school officials say they can't identify who sent the initial emailed complaints due to privacy concerns, a petition asking that the mascot remain the same, now has more than 640 signatures.

Six Investigates reached out to every board member about the district's stance. Read that email chain, here.

Neither Ms. Susser, nor Superintendent Hernandez, answered whether they would support the idea of keeping the Rebel if that's the idea the community expresses.

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