Juneau students and school administrators will meet with local legislators Saturday to discuss concerns surrounding the district’s new mascot, the Thunder Bears.
Juneau students chose “Thunder Bears” in February as the new mascot for the district’s combined football team. The name combined aspects of both the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears and the Thunder Mountain Falcons. The district said at the time it would be the mascot for all district-wide teams going forward.
Googling the name brings up an Urban Dictionary definition that describes “thunderbear” as a nickname for someone who goes on drunken tirades. It says it is often attributed to people of Native American descent. That definition was posted in 2004.
Students, staff and community members became concerned shortly after the vote when the definition was discovered online.
Reps. Justin Parish and Sam Kito III will meet with Superintendent Mark Miller and student representatives from all district high schools to discuss whether to keep the new mascot or choose another.
The public meeting will be held in room 519 of the Alaska State Capitol Building from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.