By Lulu Levy, Online Editor-in-Chief
// Throughout the spring semester, Acalanes community members have participated in multiple discussions and events on the Don mascot. Blueprint intends to provide a complete list and summary of each event:
Student-Led Mascot Presentation
On March 15 and March 17, during Academy periods, all Acalanes High School students received an educational presentation on the history of the Don mascot. Student leaders presented the slides to each class.
Content within the presentation included the historical context of the founding of Acalanes, the introduction of the Don, and research-based content on the definition of a Don. In addition, the presentation displayed examples of the mascot’s portrayal throughout Acalanes history.
The lesson was strictly educational, and concluded by inviting students to attend a student forum on March 29. Additionally, Leadership required all students to complete a survey to share their general feelings, which Administration released on April 17 (refer to Student Survey Responses Released below).
Students further interested in discussions on the Don mascot following the school-wide presentations attended the first student forum hosted on March 29 in the Acalanes Library during Academy. Acalanes opened the event to all students interested.
Associated Student Body (ASB) Officers and Administrators prompted attendees to ask questions, share opinions, and openly discuss how the school should approach possible changes to the Don mascot.
To continue discussions from the previous meeting Leadership and Administration hosted a second student forum on April 12 at lunch.
Student Survey Responses Released
Administration released a comprehensive overview of the student survey conducted following the March presentations in the Daily Don on April 17. According to the results, 756 current students filled out the survey.
The overview contained a condensed version of the responses, including a chart displaying the answers to the question, “Do you think Don is a good choice for our mascot?” The results are shown in the image below.
Additionally, Administration’s overview included a list of trends in the explanations of each student’s answers to the prior question.
This overview of student opinions offered the community insight into where the current student population stood on the mascot debate. Click here to view the full survey overview.
Parents Receive Mascot Presentation at Dons Dialogue
On April 19, the Acalanes Parents Club hosted their monthly forum, the Don’s Dialogue, in the Acalanes Library. Among other topics discussed at the meeting, ASB Officers presented the same Don’s mascot presentation given to students the previous month.
Parents received the presentation in the same format given to their students and were allowed to ask questions to Principal Eric Shawn following the meeting.
AHS Alumni Forum
The final event hosted thus far in association with the Don mascot was a virtual Acalanes Alumni forum on April 25. ASB Officers and Administrators led the Zoom session for the former Acalanes students.
Next Steps With Administration
Principal Shawn provided a statement to Blueprint on the status of current mascot-related discussions and next steps.
“We are really looking at the next steps being around what does it look like to define who we are as a community, what are our common values, how do we stand by those common values, how do we acknowledge the history of our mascot and what it has been over time and what it means today. There’s currently no plan to vote to change the mascot, I think what we are looking at moving forward is a way that unites us all as a community,” Shawn said.