CEDAR CITY — A crowd of more than 200 people gathered Tuesday night in Cedar High School’s auditorium, with more than three dozen people publicly voicing their opinions on whether Cedar High’s “Redmen” mascot should be changed.
The public hearing, which lasted more than 90 minutes, was the first of three planned public hearings on the issue, said Rich Nielsen, Iron County School District’s director of secondary education. The other two hearings will be on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. and on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m.
Originally, just the two December sessions were planned, but Nielsen said the third one was scheduled for a Monday night in January at the request of Cedar High students. The students were concerned some would be unable to make either of the first two meetings due to other school activities on the schedule, he told the audience.
Following a welcome by CHS principal John Dodds, Nielsen gave a brief overview of the reasons behind the school board’s decision to create a 28-member committee to study the mascot issue. Included on the mascot committee are past, present and future CHS students, faculty and staff members, administrators, and Paiute tribal leaders, he said.
Even before Tuesday’s meeting, Nielsen said the committee has already received numerous written responses from the public via email, using the dedicated address firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s been a very good conversation,” Nielsen said, adding that there is no question about the passion that generations of CHS students have held for their beloved mascot since it was first instituted in 1942.