Henrico middle school eliminates ‘Indians’ mascot, logo

Students and administrators announced in June that the school will retire the "Indians"...
Students and administrators announced in June that the school will retire the "Indians" nickname and logo.(Henrico County Public Schools)
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 1:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After a two-year student-led effort, a Henrico County middle school has dropped its longtime mascot ahead of the new school year.

In June, students and administrators at John Rolfe Middle School announced at a school board meeting that the school will retire its longtime “Indians” nickname and logo.

The school division says students chose the nickname “Jaguars” because they wanted a mascot that embodied qualities such as success, strength, pride, kindness, hope, and resilience.

John Rolfe students spoke with members and clergy of the Samaria Baptist Church in Charles City County - which includes members of the Chickahominy Tribe and shares historical ties with the tribe.

“I am overwhelmed with joy to see a class assignment inspire genuine inquiry, dialogue, and research which ultimately initiated change,” said Debbie George, the school’s former principal.

John Rolfe’s new principal Darryl Johnson spoke about the new change coming to the school.

“This student-led initiative illustrates the pride, innovation, and unity I’ve found since arriving. Go Jaguars!”

The school is named after colonist John Rolfe whose 1612 tobacco production at Henrico County’s Varina Farms helped make the Virginia Colony profitable.