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Group protests Serra High School name change to Canyon Hills High School

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 14:55:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A local group is taking a stand against the San Diego Unified School District board decision to change the name of Serra High School in Tierrasanta.

In March, SD Unified’s board unanimously voted to change Serra High’s name to Canyon Hills High School and to change the school mascot from Conquistadors to a rattlesnake or rattler.

The school’s primary colors are changing from brown and gold to red and black.

RELATED: San Diego Unified approves Serra High name, mascot change

The district’s vote came after two sisters started an online petition to change the school's mascot. The sisters and supporters said the school's mascot represented Spanish colonization and its historical link to violence against Native Americans.

Serra High is named after Father Junipero Serra, a canonized Saint who founded Mission San Diego de Alcala in 1769.

However, some in the community are not on board with the change.

The group Preserve Serra High, consisting of Tierrasanta and Murphy Canyon residents, said there was not enough community input on the name-change decision.

Preserve Serra High gathered at Serra High on Tuesday morning to protest the changes.

Parent Gary High, who has three kids that graduated from the school, the school did not reach out to his children about their option for the name change.

“We are just upset because if they remove the name then it will be like the school never existed. The name is associated with this community and the students and staff that have made this school what it is today,” said High.

Group organizer Chuck Cox said he’d like the school board to hit the pause button on making these changes and he’s asking that the community be given an opportunity to weigh in on this decision and put the issue up for a vote.

“Volunteers who gave their blood, sweat, tears and money for that, and they were not even allowed the right or privilege to vote on the name change they were ignored. In a good world, we go along with a vote; I'm willing to do that,” said Cox.

ABC 10News reached out to the San Diego Unified School District for a comment, but they have not responded as of the publication of this story.