Mangy makes a comeback… or so we thought

Elkhart Memorial students upset after mascot petition is edited

Ever since the announcement of the school merge, the halls of Elkhart Memorial have been filled with gossip regarding the gritty details of the future of the two Elkhart high schools. The most recent conversation has been centered around the petition, started by Elkhart Central senior, Patrick Yeakey, asking for a change in the future mascot of Elkhart High.

The petition discussed how the students in the community voted upon “Mangy Lions” as the desired mascot, then the school board dropped the adjective “mangy,” worried that the word carried a negative connotation.

Yeakey’s petition quickly gained momentum, circling through social media in a matter of hours. The comment section blew up with statements such as, “the Mangy Lion must stay,” and “Mangy is important to both schools.” Pretty soon, everyone was debating whether or not the adjective “mangy” should be included in the title.

“Mangy Lion is the only piece of history we’re going to have left,” junior Brianna Kramer said. “Our city-wide rivalry is going to be gone and future students deserve to know how important Mangy was to our schools.”

But just one day after the petition was posted, the topic of conversation changed. Somehow, now the argument was centered around whether or not “Charging Blazers” would be an adequate name for the new mascot.

Confusion spread as just one day prior, the title was perceived to be centered around the Mangy Lion. No one quite knew where this new proposal came from.

So, curiously, Elkhart Memorial students took to the internet to look at the petition once again, convinced they must have missed something. Instead, they found an entirely different petition altogether. And for the ones who had previously signed the petition, their signatures were still valid and counted as a “signature.”

Photo submitted by Sherri Greenfield
The original petition created by Elkhart Central senior Patrick Yeakey, screenshotted on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The petition for the mascot was edited while keeping the existing signatures.
Rayna Minix
The changed petition, edited by Elkhart Central senior Patrick Yeakey, screenshotted on Friday, Feb. 15. The petition for the mascot was edited while keeping the existing signatures.

“I signed to keep the ‘mangy’ in lions,” said sophomore Emma Yohn. “It’s honestly ridiculous. Central knew what they were doing when they manipulated the petition in order to get a few more signatures. Leave it to Central to throw a fit when they don’t get their way.”

The description read something much different, but it was still the same petition.

“We never decided that we wanted to advocate for Charging Blazers,” said Memorial Superintendent Student Advisory Council (SSAC) president, Shelby Buss, after she met with Yeakey. “He just decided to change it himself.”

Yeakey, founder of the petition, confirmed that it had been edited.

“The petition was published Monday morning… but after an interview with The Elkhart Truth,” Yeakey said, “the reporter explained how the description wasn’t specific enough and how we should edit the wording… It was edited late Monday night into the description it has currently.”  

Despite Yeakey’s admission that the petition was edited, some Elkhart Memorial students are upset that their names are on a petition that they do not truly support.

“I really can’t believe the people behind the petition went this low and won’t even take responsibility for it,” said Kramer.

So what is the future of the Mangy Lion and the future mascot of Elkhart High? Right now, according to Yeakey, the decision seems to be up in the air, but he has been in contact with Superintendent Dr. Steve Thalheimer and the school board.

“The superintendent said he would be looking at options along with the school board,” said Yeakey.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.