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Friday, December 1, 2023
Dec. 1, 2023

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The Rapids: Columbia River student body selects new mascot

Nickname replaces the long-standing chieftain name, retired in September by school board

By , Columbian staff writer

Things are rapidly changing at Columbia River High School. First construction, and now a new mascot. 

Students at the Hazel Dell school selected Rapids to serve as the school’s new nickname, effective immediately. Rapids won out over Captains in a schoolwide voting process this week. The school unveiled the name in a video recording to students Friday morning.

The mascot transition ends an eight-month process that began when the Vancouver School Board voted unanimously to retire the long-standing chieftain nickname that served Columbia River High and Minnehaha Elementary.

More than 700 name suggestions poured in from staff, students, alumni and community members that were pared down to four choices — Rapids, Captains, Purple Ride and River, a no-mascot option, approved by the school board last month.

The mascot makeover comes at a time when social justice movements have prompted reexaminations of insensitive names, logos and mascots. This week, the state Legislature gave final approval to a bill banning the use of Native American names, symbols and images as school mascots, logos and team names at most public schools.

The school plans to design an official new logo and imagery to be unveiled at a later date.

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