Sounding Off: Compromise needed on mascot

I’m a 22-year resident of Laguna Beach and have had two children matriculate through the Laguna school system, graduating in 1999 and 2001. I’d like to suggest that some of the points in Cindy Frazier’s article (“Being true to their school," July 24) didn’t represent anything close to the facts as they happened at the time.

At the time I was the Athletic Booster president. My daughter played soccer and ran track, and my son ran cross country and was on the golf team. They both were very serious about representing their school, regardless of the mascot’s name.

The drive to change the name from Artists to Breakers was not driven by a few football players and their friends. The desire to change the name came from multiple sports teams including girls’ volleyball, softball and soccer and multiple boys’ sports teams as well as non-sports-playing students.

The idea you propose at the end of your article that anyone thought that the change to a more “macho" name (Breakers is macho?) was going to create state championships is absurd at best and condescending at worst and really shows the bias in your attitude and article.


If you recall, the first mascot at Laguna Beach High School was the Breakers. It was changed to Artists at a later date so the desire to go back to Breakers by a good number of the student body wasn’t just pulled out of thin air. You might have mentioned that in your article.

You also failed to consider that a large portion of the school student body at the time and the community at large favored the change. Laguna Beach is an artist colony no matter what the high school mascot is called. To think the two are so closely intertwined is a bit naïve.

I think the idea currently being passed around that the sports teams go by “Breakers" and the “Artists" nickname be allowed to continue in its many current uses is a great compromise. I’m very impressed that even Howard Hills sees the benefit to this solution. High schools should benefit and be important to the people who are involved at the time and for maybe 10 years after. After that the Alumni Assn. needs to concern itself with keeping graduates in touch with each other, arranging reunions and doing whatever philanthropic/scholarship work they deem important. For someone from the class of 1964 to try to dictate the conditions the class of 2010 should live and go to school under isn’t realistic or productive. No one is trying to take their memories away but they do need to realize that high school is for those going to school, not for those who have been.

I think Supt. Fraisse’s approach will bring about a workable, positive solution to what you called a “mess."


Hopefully, at the end of it all the folks that think it’s a mess, whether in favor of Breakers or Artists, will move on.

KEVIN DONAVAN lives in Laguna Beach.