HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) — The $489 Hays Board of Education in its meeting Monday night voted on the branding for its middle school, which is expected to be in a new location in 2026, but took no action on a biggest discussion related to names and mascots.
Hays High School’s “Indian” mascot was not reconsidered at the board meeting. With that, a spokesperson for the district said there is no name change when it comes to branding for Hays High. Change is coming with a move to a new building.
In May, Ellis County voters approve $143 million bond issue for Hays school district. County Election Bureau results showed Bond passed by about 500 votes. Voters also approved a half-cent sales tax to pay off the bond, moving forward with planned improvements that include the new high school.
The new building for Hays High will remain on its current campus. Hays Middle School will move into the current high school space. With both schools becoming neighbors in 2026, the discussion at Monday night’s BOE meeting focused in part on continuity between the schools. Students who participate in sports and activities for Hays Middle School are currently referred to as “the Falcons”. On Monday night, a motion to transfer middle school to “Indians” in 2026 narrowly failed. A district spokesman said the middle school’s future mascot needs to be determined.
A second motion Monday night for Hays Middle School and Hays High School to share at least the same color scheme and motto of “brave and true” when the schools become neighbors passed.
In October, State board of education heeded statewide push to retire use of Native American-themed mascots. In recent years, several Kansas school districts have been renamed after dropping the use of Native mascots. This includes Wichita North High School dropping “Redskins” from its branding.
Some Hays parents had expressed hope that a similar change would occur in their district. Others have expressed strong support for keeping Hays “the Indians”.