Franklin High School’s new mascot will be Lightning after Board approves selection6/12/2019
The new mascot and nickname for Franklin High School will be Lightning. The process to determine a new identity for the school was finalized Tuesday, when the Portland Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero’s recommendation.
The change aligns Franklin’s identity with PPS policy that prohibits the use of names that are religious in nature on district schools, mascots and symbols. The Board found that Franklin's longtime mascot, Quakers, violates the rule.
“Tonight begins a new chapter for the Franklin community and Southeast Portland, one that will be inclusive and reflects our values,” board member Julia Brim-Edwards said.
The change was prompted by parents, who are members of the Quaker faith, filing two complaints with the district over a three-year period. It first required a revision of the district’s naming policy to bring it in line with district values. After the revisal was passed by the Board at its May 8, 2018 meeting, the Board passed a resolution to change Franklin’s identity, and the district started a comprehensive process to determine a new mascot. The work was guided by a 20-member Mascot Identification Committee that included a wide array of participants, including students, staff, community members and alumni.
The committee held a series of public meetings, Principal Chris Frazier reached out to multiple constituencies and groups for feedback, and the Alumni Association used its Facebook page to share information. The committee also conducted a public survey of the six names the committee deemed as finalists: Ambassadors, Chargers, Falcons, Firs, Lightning and Thunderbolts. Respondents also had the option to write in a choice.
“This process was transparent, it was inclusive and it was collaborative,” Frazier said.
The committee passed its recommendation on to Superintendent Guerrero, who shared his recommendation with the Board. At its meeting Tuesday, the Board approved Lightning by passing Resolution 5900 in a 7-0 vote. The district has set a deadline of summer 2020 to make changes to school property in places that have the word Quakers on them.