Juanita HS “Rebels” mascot finally defeated

Juanita HS “Rebels” mascot finally defeated

School administration will now begin selecting a new mascot.

The Juanita High School “Rebels” mascot got the boot after Lake Washington School District administrators decided to dump what many viewed as an offensive homage to the Confederacy on July 13.

The mascot has been a source of contention for years, as student groups had pushed unsuccessfully to get the mascot changed. During a July 13 Lake Washington School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen removed the “Rebels” as Juanita High School’s mascot. School administration will now begin selecting a new mascot.

A press release from the school district said Holmen began reviewing the mascot and met with students, parents and administrators. Along with the removal of the mascot, the district updated its policy on choosing and removing school mascots. This included granting the superintendent the right to remove a school name or mascot, and requiring school names and mascots to be aligned with district values.

Previously, only current students could vote to change or retain a mascot.

“Juanita High School students, staff, parents, alumni and community have the opportunity to write the next chapter of Juanita High School,” Holmen said in a press release. “I understand there are stakeholders that do not agree with this decision.”

The debate over the mascot has been happening for years. In coverage from 2018, dueling petitions were circulating to both remove and retain the mascot. Those who supported keeping the mascot said “Rebels” referenced the “revolutionary” approach to education the school took, including short class periods.

One petition to retain the mascot from that time said “there is no white supremacy in Juanita High surrounding areas.”

But others disagreed. A Juanita High School logo from 1990 featured the “stars and bars” behind the school’s logo. The “stars and bars” is associated with the Confederacy. The 1990 logo was changed after a Black staff member raised concerns about it.

Another picture included in the 1986 yearbook shows students holding a Confederate flag with the title “In 1986, Juanita High School is riding a rebel wave.”

In another instance, during a mid-1990s varsity football game, Juanita students painted their faces with the “stars and bars” and chanted racist names and slurs. The assistant student body president later apologized for the incident.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Juanita HS “Rebels” mascot finally defeated

More in News

t
Bellevue shines in fastpitch and lacrosse action

Bellevue fastpitch hurler Rachel Treves fires away during the Wolverines’ 11-1 victory… Continue reading

King County logo
Auditors find racial disparities in King County contracts

BIPOC-owned businesses earn contract bids at a much lower rate than white-owned businesses.

t
Sammamish boots past Bellevue

Sammamish’s Anthony Suazo, right, scored two goals in his team’s 4-1 victory… Continue reading

t
Bellevue girls lacrosse nets victory

Bellevue’s girls lacrosse team defeated crosstown rival Newport Sammamish Interlake (NSI), 14-8,… Continue reading

t
Headed to victory

Interlake’s Mateo Filart heads in a goal in his team’s 4-0 victory… Continue reading

Photos of Kaloni Bolton. (Courtesy of Kristina Williams)
She couldn’t breathe: Child dies from asthma attack at Renton medical clinic

Family of Kaloni Bolton, 12, seeks answers as to why staff couldn’t treat her.

t
Battling to a 1-1 draw

Bellevue’s Dylan Khuu, front, scored on a free kick in the Wolverines’… Continue reading

Sound Transit photo
First ORCA card free for youth ages 6-18

ORCA cards accepted on Sound Transit, King County Metro, Washington State Ferries, and more.

Bellevue School District graphic (screen captured from the Bellevue School District Facebook page)
Bellevue School District names new interim superintendent

Dr. Art Jarvis will assume his new position on July 1.

Kathy Lambert (courtesy of kathylambert.com)
King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert announces campaign for re-election

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.