Belding announces school mascot replacing Redskins name

Belding Area Schools Black Knights
An undated courtesy photo shows what Belding Area Schools' new mascot could look like. The district said it borrowed the mascot from another school for its assembly. (Belding Area Schools)

BELDING, Mich. (WOOD) — Beginning this fall, Belding Area Schools will be known at the Black Knights.

The district announced its newly selected mascot Friday, after months of surveying the community and students.

In a Friday morning news release, Belding Area Schools said the new mascot fits its district because “in medieval times, knights lived by a code of chivalry, honor, loyalty, and courage. Casting their own desires aside, these brave warriors formed a brotherhood to defend the weak and vulnerable members of society… Beyond these qualities, the legend of the Black Knight takes on additional measures of heroism.”

Last month the district narrowed down the 10 mascot choices chosen by a student committee to three finalists, which included the bengals and bruins. The options then were then put to a final public vote.

The school board voted unanimously in December to drop the district’s Redskins mascot over concerns of racism. Last month, Principal Michael Ostrander said Belding Area Schools will turn to local and national artists to create the final logo, color, font and branding elements for the winning mascot.

Ostrander said the district would work with the people who donated school statues engraved with the Redskins name and logo to determine the best option. In February, he said they are considering working with the local museum to have them moved.

The district believes the new name will be a good fit for the entire community.

“Though they may be but students at Belding Area Schools, they will represent the best attributes of the Black Knights from medieval times and finest characteristics of scholars everywhere,” the press release said.