FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — The new logo for Fresno High School was unveiled Wednesday, and was met with protests.
The school branding, which was voted to change in December, maintains the “Warriors” name but removes the image of a Native American.
“Our primary image as you can see depicts the historic Royce Hall, which has served as the anchor of our campus since 1889,” said Linda Laettner, principal of Fresno High School. “Our second image representing the strength of the Warriors’ shield will be used for athletics and is intended to complement our traditional Fresno High block ‘F’ often seen on baseball uniforms and other athletic wear.”
Fresno High School student body president Bryan Alonso-Garcia said he had researched social change leading to the creation of the new logo.
“When I started off, I made a vow,” Alonso-Garcia said. “I said that I would bring about social change.”
“When there’s division and there’s hatred going on all around the world and all over the social media we have to be brought together as united as we can,” Alonso-Garcia said. “Not under as one belief, but as one individual that has a very diverse perspective. […] I would bring attention to the problems that make us uncomfortable.”
“As exciting as today is for so many of us, including for our students who helped design and ultimately select this new logo, it’s also been an uncomfortable and complicated process which would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that publicly today,” said Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Bob Nelson.
Protesters outside the gates of the news conference held signs saying “we are the Warriors,” “protect the pride,” and “educate not eradicate.”
Lori Pastre says she is an alumni of Fresno High and a Native American and calls the change “cultural genocide.”
“This is wrong,” Pastre says. “They did not do what they said they did, they did not evaluate this fairly.”
Pastre says she was not called to any meeting about the mascot change, calling it a violation of the Brown Act, which guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies.
A lawsuit filed recently alleges that the Fresno Unified Board of Education violated the Brown Act on Dec. 9, 2020, when the board voted 6-1 to change the Fresno High School symbol.
“It’s cancel culture,” said Pastre. “I’ve talked to faculty here, no one is in favor of it, but they didn’t ask them.”