Liverpool high school students vote to ditch Warriors image

·2 min read

The principal of the Liverpool Regional High School in Nova Scotia is praising his students for choosing to retire a controversial school mascot.

The Liverpool Regional Warriors logo depicted an Indigenous man wearing a headdress.

Principal Souhail Soujah, in his first year as principal at the school, said the students "are very aware of the inappropriate nature of that logo."

"They brought forward the notion that we could do better because we know better," he said.

Soujah said he was amazed and proud that students in a small community like Liverpool were so forward thinking.

He said a survey was taken and students opted to keep the name Warriors because it was emblematic of more than just warfare.

"It's about somebody who actually fights for justice, somebody who actually takes a heroic stand," he said.

He said the next step is to find an image that reflects the "positive values" that the Warriors represent.

Soujah said the feedback from people at the school has been overwhelmingly positive, but he expects some resistance because the emblem has been in use for many years.

He believes the rationale for the change will ultimately "win the day" in convincing people it is the right thing to do.

He said past administrations and the school community were already shifting away from using the emblem prior to his arrival because of concerns about its appropriateness.

LRHS School Council
LRHS School Council

While the old emblem is already retired, work is still ongoing to come up with a new one.

"The next step is basically to request from the student body ideas or sketches or images that they think might be more appropriate, more reflective of the values we want," he said.

He wants to find a new emblem that is "positive, inclusive, and empowering."

Souljah, who was born in Lebanon and grew up in Venezuela before moving to Canada, said the experience has left him feeling very positive about the community of Liverpool.

"I think we have a group of students who are very aware, very socially minded, very conscious of what the right things are," he said.

"And I think when you give them the power to make the right decisions, more often than not they will."