Round Rock parents disagree over elementary school mascot

There is a debate going on in a Round Rock community regarding an elementary school mascot. The current mascot at Double File Trail Elementary School is “the Braves” and the school logo features a caricature of a Native American boy. 

“It is synonymous with the school. Double File Trail Elementary was named after the Double File Trail which was blazed by Delaware Indians who came through this area,” said Shyenne Haluzan, who currently serves on the elementary schools’ Parent Teacher Association. 

Three of Haluzan’s children attended Double File Trail Elementary at some point, and she feels the mascot is a tribute to the area's history.

“We are celebrating the Native Americans who blazed this trail,” Haluzan said. 

However, another group of parents feels differently. 

An online petition calls the school’s mascot and logo “embarrassing and hurtful.”

In a statement sent to FOX 7 Austin, supporters of changing the mascot write, “For 50 years, the National Council of American Indians has fought against the use of “racist and harmful ‘Indian’ mascots in sports and popular culture.” The school’s “Braves” logo and mascot are a prime example of the type of caricatures this group and many others have been fighting against...”

“This is not derogatory in any way. It’s not harmful. It’s a cherished tradition. The children love the brave, are able to identify with the brave and the characteristics which it stands for, which is being courageous, brave, having integrity and respect, it’s all of those things combined,” Haluzan said. 

After Haluzan learned a group of parents opposing the Brave were collecting signatures to present to the school board on Thursday, she stepped up to challenge them.

“I started my own petition. I really think that there are a lot of people in this community who love the brave, and so I wanted to kind of get that word out that there are a lot of community members who support having the brave as our mascot,” said Haluzan. 

While not her main motivation for keeping the current mascot, Haluzan said there’s also the issue of costs. She would rather the school allocate any available money to students and teachers who need it. 

“I think there’s a better use of our funds than changing a beloved mascot at this school,” Haluzan said. 

As for other school mascots in the Round Rock area, parents opposing the brave said their focus is “ change the harmful mascot of their zoned school, but they would also like to see Round Rock ISD address other similar school logos in the district, including the Westwood Warriors.” 

Currently, the petition opposing the brave mascot has 264 responses, while the petition in favor of it has about 1,100. However, it is important to point out the latter does not only include local responses. 

Both sides plan to present their opinions and petitions to the Round Rock School Board Thursday night at 7 pm at Round Rock High School Lecture Hall at 300 Lake Creek Drive.