VOTE ON NEW FOOTBALL MASCOT DELAYED
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As it turns out, students will not be voting on the mascot for the new Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy football cooperative this week as planned. Meeting in regular session Monday night, March 14, the Freeman Public School Board decided to delay the decision so students can contribute more heavily to the choices.
“We want to give them adequate buy-in,” board president Emily Andersen told The Courier Tuesday morning. “It needs to be something they can feel proud.”
Andersen said the choices that were to be voted on Tuesday came from a task force that included top administrators and athletic directors from all three schools, and were as follows:
Andersen noted that Freeman Academy was not comfortable with the Guardians option and that was something the Freeman Public board would respect and honor.
“It needs to be an adequate representation of all three schools,” Andersen said.
The Marion School Board also met in regular session Monday night and agreed that Guardians should be taken off the table given Freeman Academy’s stance, according to a parent who was at the meeting.
Whether or not the four other possible team names will still be included as options will be based on student input, said Andersen, who was also asked about Rebels not be included as an option — something several people have taken issue with on social media.
Rebels is the name of the long-standing wrestling cooperative between Marion and Freeman Public that today also includes Freeman Academy and Menno. Andersen said it was her understanding that the task force did not include Rebels because it wanted a fresh identity for what is a brand-new partnership.
She also wondered how Freeman Academy would feel about being included in a cooperative with that name, but — again — that more student input would ultimately help steer the discussion moving forward.
Andersen hopes enough input can be gathered and team choices nailed down for a student vote by the board’s next regular meeting on April 11.
The board is also scheduled to meet in special session March 28 for teacher negotiations.
“We could always add it to the agenda if we felt that was necessary,” Andersen said.