IDAHO FALLS — The Bonneville School District’s Board of Trustees has tabled the new name and mascot of the district’s unfinished high school.
For now, no more Black Canyon Phantoms.
Instead, the district has reopened the naming process with a web page where patrons can submit potential names, mascots and color schemes.
The board’s decision followed a social-media outcry on Bonneville’s Facebook page this week after the district posted a request for images of phantoms that were “mysterious and powerful, not cryptic or dark.”
Patrons responded mostly with concerns of a purported lack of public input in deciding the name and mascot.
“So now you want the communities (sic) input?” wrote patron Keagan Loveland. “Why did we not vote on the school name and mascot as a community?”
Patrons also argued that the acronym of the previously-adopted name, BCHS, was reminiscent of a five-letter derogatory term.
“Our tax dollars are paying for b*!ch HIGHSCHOOL (sic),” wrote Whitney Trosper, “Y’all are on your own as far as I’m concerned.” (Trosper’s comment garnered two likes.)
The Bonneville School District responded to the post’s early complaints, saying that the decision was made using as much community input as possible. According to district policy, the school board can either provide a school name or organize an advisory committee to gather input and make a recommendation.
But that advisory committee didn’t gather enough input, patrons argued.
Board Chairman Brian McBride said the district was following policy but they “didn’t realize until after, that there were a lot of people who felt disenfranchised.”
McBride acknowledged that the naming committee and board weren’t prepared for the public backlash, but added that the previously adopted name received a lot of support and was still in the runnings for possible names.
“Its probably impossible to reach 10,000 patrons,” McBride said, “but we’re going to do our best.”
The district will collect ideas from the website and narrow submissions to the most popular two or three, which will then be brought before the board for a final decision. Patrons can submit ideas by calling the district directly at (208) 525-4400. Patrons have until Sep. 28 to provide input.