West Hartford

Schools in West Hartford Get New Mascots After Board of Ed Vote

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After months of discussion, Hall and Conard High Schools in West Hartford have new mascots.

Conard High School changed from the Chieftains to the Red Wolves. Hall High School changed from Warriors to the Titans.

Back in February, the West Hartford Board of Education decided to discontinue the previous names and asked committees made up of students, staff and others to come up with replacements. The schools voted, and the final decision was presented Tuesday night.

“We understand not everyone likes change, and that’s okay. It’s been an inclusive process. We’ve been receiving feedback from all, whether via email or public comments. We welcome the feedback,” said West Hartford Board of Education Chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson.

A few people who spoke at the meeting said it’s still the wrong move. Resident Scott Zweig filed a lawsuit Monday asking the board to make no decision and to wait for a court hearing in July.

“The purpose of my lawsuit is simple - to prevent the board from taking any actions that violated their own policies, written policies and the rights of current and former West Hartford residents,” Zweig said.

The West Hartford Corporation Counsel provided a statement on the lawsuit:

“The West Hartford Board of Education has received a so-called ‘Notice of Violation’ from Attorney Scott Zweig as well as a lawsuit filed by him demanding that the Board of Education rescind its decision to discontinue the use of the Chieftain and Warrior names at our two public high schools. Attorney Zweig’s alleged procedural grievances are without merit – the decision was properly adopted by the Board, and it is consistent with local, state and federal policies concerning equity and diversity.  Despite Attorney Zweig’s claims to the contrary, there is no court order barring the school district from moving forward with the name changes.”

“I am aware of no court order or any other legal reason prohibiting us from proceeding to a vote,” said Thomas-Farquharson after the Board came back from an executive session to discuss the lawsuit.

After the presentation of both mascots, the Board voted five to two in favor of adopting the new mascots.

One of the board members who voted against said he felt the process was rushed.

The images presented at Tuesday night’s meeting were just suggestions. The colors and designs are still to be determined, with a goal to start seeing them at the schools at the start of the school year this fall.

Regarding the lawsuit, there’s a preliminary hearing on July 7.

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