Fight song likely to be addressed separately
the school district.
Since then, the district has outlined plans to offer cultural competency training for all staff and peer training for all Lehman and Hays high school students.
School Board President Willie Tenorio Jr., who graduated from the high school in 1986, said his graduation announcement bore the Confederate flag.
“It was on campus so much that you kind of became used to its pres- ence,” Tenorio said. “I don’t know if I understood how it was viewed in the general public.”
Tenorio said that the community has struggled with whether to ban the flag, and that there are many on both sides of the debate.
Earlier this year he said tackling concerns about the Hays High mascot and “Dixie” fight song would have to wait.
He said he’s made his decision on whether or not to ban the flag but is keeping it private until Monday’s meeting.
Lyon said it’s urgent that the board resolve the issue by unequivocally banning the imagery from district property.
Eventually, he speculated, the district will address the school’s fight song, but he said he thinks students need to lead the charge to change it.
He also said stu- dents and staff need more training in diversity issues, recalling former students who have talked about the anxiety they experienced after learning later in life what Dixie and the flag represent to some outside of the school.
John Ayala, a Mountain City parent with a junior at Hays High, said he was surprised to see Confederate flags and to hear the school’s fight song when he went to his first sporting event at the high school.
He said it’s embarrassing to compete with diverse schools against that backdrop.
“The people who pretty much founded this community, they tend to have a blind eye to how the Rebel flags and how ‘Dixie’ ... could be offensive to others,” he said.