Top 5 Worst High School Mascots
#5 Coachella Valley (California) High School "Mighty Arabs"
Coachella Valley's new "Mighty Arab" mascot was a compromise with a Civil Rights group based in Washington D.C. Originally, the school's mascot was the "Arabs" with a mascot appearing at sporting events playing on stereotypical tropes, including: a thick beard, mustache, hooked nose, and head wrap. The real question - why do folks feel the need to hang on to these offensive relics? If the school or district genuinely believes the culture of the school or the traditions will fade because an offensive mascot has been retired, then the school has other issues to resolve. Change the mascot!
#4 Yuma (Arizona) High School "Criminals"
Yes, the school is now operating on property that was once a prison. That's no excuse for keeping this miserable reminder of the heartache associated with our criminal justice system as a keepsake for a school community.
Even more disgusting are images of students and coaches/teachers mimicking arrest and confinement. Imagine being a student who has witnessed a relative enter the system. Or heck, imagine being a student at this school who was once harassed by law enforcement. This is not welcoming behavior.
At the end of the day, these are kids and this is a school community. Educators owe a duty to the students and their families to set an example. This "criminals" mascot tramples on the foundation of creating safe spaces for youth.
#3 Centralia (Illinois) High School "Orphans"
According to legend, the name "Orphan" has three different origin stories. One story claims that iconic Centralia coach Arthur L. Trout named the team after his favorite movie, "Orphans of the Storm." Under Coach Trout's tutelage (beginning in 1914), Centralia became a regional basketball power known as the "Troutmen," in honor of Coach Trout.
The second story, according to Don Schnake author of "Trout: The Old Man and the Orphans," Centralia fans played a role in the "Orphans" name. Schnake notes, 'Some thought the players looked as sad as a band of unwanted orphans.'
The final story, and most popular, claims that Coach Trout was unwilling to spend exorbitant amounts of money on uniforms. As a result, the team was required to pick game-day uniforms from a bin of leftover uniforms from previous seasons, apparently making the team look like a group of "orphans."
The school has even allowed the students to name their home basketball cheering section the "OrFANage."
#2 Aniak (Alaska) High School "Half Breeds"
Let's assume Aniak set out to honor the heritage of its indigenous population. That's all well and good. But 'knowledge is power.' Yes, that cliche is overused, but in this situation, it's apt.
At some point, the school board and school officials need to recognize that intentions are irrelevant. What they intended does not dismiss their continued use of this blatantly offensive slur to demean people of mixed heritage. Half breeds was not and is not an appropriate school mascot, period.
#1 Robstown (Texas) High School "Cotton Pickers"
"Picker Pride" really? Why have a mascot that makes light of a country's three century long slave past? Hmmm...because sensitivity to the black community is not a concern.
Background: The population of the school district and town are predominantly Latin American, and the mascot is in honor of the towns cotton farming tradition. This is no excuse! If the district genuinely intended to honor its farming heritage then they should have named themselves the "Cotton Farmers," rather than refer to themselves by the moniker used to describe former African slaves.
Orofino (Idaho) High School "Maniacs"
The explanation for how such an abysmal choice of mascot name came into existence is quite simple, but the explanation doesn't make it any easier to stomach. Geography. The school shares a border fence with the Idaho State Hospital North (mental institution).
Nope...that's all. That is the name's origin story. If you're disgusted, good, you should be.