Carmel High School is reconsidering its mascot in this current reckoning over racial justice. A group of current and former students at Carmel High School wants to change the mascot, a cartoon Catholic friar called Padre. This week, Carmel’s school board announced it intends to establish a committee to discuss the issue.

Emily Robinson, class of 2011, is one of more than 2,000 alumni and students who signed a petition to change the school’s mascot. The Padre reflects the Spanish history of the Carmel Mission, and some say it ignores the violent treatment of Native Americans.

Robinson said the call to change the Padre mascot is part of broader conversation going on around the country about how history is framed.

“What are the things that we have held up as icons, as sacred? Are those sacred to everyone or are they glorifying something that shouldn’t be glorified?” Robinson said.

The mascot has been part of the school for almost 80 years, and not everyone thinks changing it is a good idea. There’s a counter-petition, and many of the nearly 800 people who signed it say changing the Padre would abandon tradition for the sake of political correctness.

“To me, they’re taking away history, tradition and basically legacies,” said Mike Scardina, a graduate of the class of 1999, who started the counter-petition.

The decision to change the Carmel High School mascot, and potentially pick a new one, is ultimately up to the Carmel Unified School Board of Education. Board President Karl Pallastrini said the district is willing to explore changing the Padre mascot, but the top priority is making sure schools are able to safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic….

The above comes from a July 23 story on