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Cheyenne Mountain mascot debate: School board hears pleas for and against change

Cheyenne Mountain High School, Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — The Cheyenne Mountain School Board listened to more than a dozen arguments to change the high school’s Indian mascot Monday night. 

It’s the latest push for change from current and former students, Native Americans and their allies calling the mascot racist, offensive, and disrespectful.

“This is not respectful, nor could it ever be,” Cheyenne Mountain High School student Eddie Hayward said.

Larissa Marulli is a Cheyenne Mountain High School alumni. Marulli is one of many students or alumni who recalled being the target of racism while enrolled at CMHS. 

Renee Pazdan's children go to school in District 12.

"One of the legs of excellence that is missing from this school is diversity," Pazdan said.

One alumni at the meeting Monday, James Bensberg, stood by the mascot.

"I would reject the idea that we're all a bunch of old racists and bigoted white supremacists," Bensberg said.

The Cheyenne Mountain School Board agreed to work on a resolution to change the mascot during a September work session. The goal is to have it ready for a public vote in November.

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Lauren Barnas

Lauren is an anchor and MMJ for KRDO and 13 Investigates. Learn more about Lauren here.



  1. It is too bad the school board has too much time on their hands to focus on being politically correct and wanting to change the name of a school instead of focusing on academic achievement, teacher accountability, and budgets. Isn’t the latter what a school is supposed to focus on? I strongly doubt former students really care because they have a life, and the current students are too immature to know which way is up.

    1. Howdy Servant,
      1. Don’t you think the Admin and BOE would rather be focusing on that stuff?
      2. You went to school, so you’re and expert. Since you’ve been on a plane, go fly one, too.
      3. The District in question is the highest achieving district or the 21 districts in the Pikes Peak Region, and second in the State of Colorado, so I think they got that dialed in.
      4. Neither the BOE or Admin brought this to you, or KRDO. It was a faction of graduates, parents, and students.
      5. The demographic of CMSD12 is of the most highly educated. It is obvious you live in another district.

      1. You need to check your facts. CMSD12 is composed of yes a lot of rich kids. It also has a lot of low income kids. I know a teacher who quit working there because of this. The rich parents think their kids can do no wrong and don’t get involved. The poor kids parents just don’t care and want them gone to school so they are out of their hair. So a teacher who cares and contacts parents concerned about the kids performance is met with parents attitude of “I don’t care” more often than not.

        CMSD is not one of the most highly educated districts unless you gauge that by money. Cheyenne Mountain is ranked 25th in Colorado High schools.
        Now if you add the charter school Vanguard in then your ranking go way up. But that is a D12 charter school and not their public schools.

  2. Just make the mascot a big giant ROCK.
    take all the NAMES off ALL buildings.
    Rename them after flowers and rocks and birds, rainbows and skittles and unicorns.
    Take down all statutes of ALL “PEOPLE” I don’t care who they are or what they did.
    IF you can take down one you should then take them ALLL down. a fair shake for everyone.
    like when’s my #EURO-AMERICANLIVESMATTER Parade??

    1. I have been saying the same thing for a long time. No matter what, any name is bound to offend someone.

  3. Here is a side. Mascots are typically something fierce(animal or made up animal) or that is respected or feared.
    So is it maybe ok to say that they chose the Indians because they are a fierce warrior people and they are respected..?…?.

    Who has the fighting unicorns as a mascot? Or the mighty sloths? Raging cucumbers…..

    As a Colorado Springs native I always seen their mascot as respectful. It was never thought of as racist or disrespectful.

    So what about Liberty High School then? They are the “Lancers”, that is from the renaissance era where racism and class warfare was rampant and there was slavery and dictators(kings).

    If you think about it you can just about find something you could deem racist in everything. So I say the people who find that and start championing it are really the one who have a problem with race. This is becoming more and more apparent with the new cancel culture and people not wanting to be equal but to have special rights.

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