The people of Clay County are already voicing their opinion on the matter. A petition to prevent the school board from naming the new school “Clay County High School” appeared in Lineville some time after the mascot and colors were chosen.
Clay County High School is the name of the current high school in Ashland.
“To name this school Clay County High School would be a result of fallacious, or wrong and misinformed thinking that any ‘New School’ can be named after an old one,” a copy of the petition sitting in the Lineville Police Department reads.
“We, the people of Clay County … WILL NOT STAND by idly while their NEW SCHOOL is fashioned after an OLD ONE!”
About a dozen signatures followed the paragraph stating their wishes.
School board members will “probably” begin to work on naming the new school at the April meeting, said Donald Harris, board member. He’s not sure how the naming process will go, but doesn’t expect the board to ask for suggestions from county high school students after what happened when the school board asked them for help on choosing the mascot and colors.
Two groups of students — one from each high school — got together at the school board’s request to come up with colors and a mascot for the new school. The kids met three times and settled on three mascot and color scheme combinations. Both high schools voted and chose a combination of orange, black and the “Longhorns.”
The school board motioned to adopt the colors and mascot but the motion failed to garner a second — letting the students’ choice die on the floor. One board member said a number of calls came in from the public, including Sen. Gerald Dial, arguing that Halloween colors shouldn’t represent the new school.
The school board eventually voted to make the new school’s colors red, white and blue and selected “Volunteers” as the mascot.
Students and members of the community took the board’s choice with an air of resigned acceptance. But they’re steeling themselves for a heated community discussion about naming the new school.
“It’s going to be a big rivalry thing, I can already tell,” said Michael Spurlin, a recent Lineville High School grad.
He and Katherine Beverly, another Lineville High graduate, were playing League of Legends at the Jack’s restaurant in Lineville.
“Clay County High School makes sense, but it wouldn’t really be fair to Lineville,” Beverly said.
Something along the lines of “Clay Central” would probably be the fairest, she believes.
Folks in Ashland appear ready to compromise on the matter, saying that the name “Clay Central” balances the need for a new start and the need to keep the county name in the county school, said Erin Nelson, who graduated from Clay County High School in 2006.
Harris isn’t against using something along those lines, he said.
“It would be fair for them folks that are worried about that,” Harris said. “(But) right now, nobody knows what it’ll be.”
Star staff writer Jason Bacaj: 256-235-3546