Eugene 4J seeks public input on future of South Eugene 'Axemen' team name
EUGENE, Ore. - Should South Eugene High School change the team name from "Axemen" to something else?
The Eugene 4J School District wants public input on the issue.
The school will host a community forum January 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium at 400 E. 19th St.
Some students and parents raised concerns that "Axemen" is not inclusive of all students. An online petition sparked response from the school and district officials.
A competing online petition urging the district to retain the name has also been circulating online.
"The axe is a longstanding part of South Eugene High School's history and tradition," the Eugene 4J School District said in a press release.
The axe was the first symbol that students and athletes rallied around at the school, and the team name The Axemen has been in use for some teams since the 1930s, a time when interscholastic sports teams were all male. Over the years, and again recently, students, parents and community members have raised concerns that the team name The Axemen may not be inclusive of all athletes and students.
No decisions have been made yet, and the school and district are committed to considering input from all stakeholders. South Eugene High School’s principal, Dr. Andy Dey, will consider all input and make a recommendation to the superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas, in February.