Denver South High School replaces Rebels mascot with new one

Nearly 100 years after Denver South High School’s founding, the school is adopting a new mascot.

DSHS is now officially home of the Ravens, according to an announcement Friday. The new mascot replaces the Rebels, which harkens back to the days of the Confederacy. In a statement, Principal Bobby Thomas said the old emblem no longer seemed “appropriate, acceptable, or an accurate representation of what South stands for.”

Over the last six months, the school conducted focus groups and online surveys and created a committee to determine the new mascot.

“Ravens are smart, clever birds that are known to be strategic problem solvers. They are empathetic, loyal creatures that form lifelong bonds,” Thomas said. “And importantly, the raven is an inclusive animal — it has a long history of being held in high regard both in Native American culture and others throughout the world, and ravens are not associated with any particular gender or race.”

Denver Public Schools Board Member Tay Anderson applauded the decision, saying he hopes other schools will take note.

“It’s symbolic, but it’s also telling us and our children for generations to come that we learned from our mistakes and we will no longer enable a white supremacist culture in our school system,” Anderson said.

The mascot change follows other district initiatives to build a more inclusive culture. DPS recently announced it would revamp its curriculums to include more Black, Native American and Lantix history. Students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College also started a racial justice podcast that lends a youth voice to the national conversation about race and equality in America.

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