Johnston County News

Middle school mascot's $14k pricetag raises eyebrows in Johnston County

SELMA, N.C. (WNCN) - Johnston County Public School officials are defending their decision to spend up to $14,000 on a new mascot for Selma Middle School.

The school board approved the measure 5 to 2 at its last meeting.

Selma Middle School will become a restart school next year. The change is slated to correspond with that.

"It started with our principal, who then went to the stakeholders, starting with the students,” Crystal Roberts with Johnston County Public Schools said.

Roberts said the idea was brought to teachers, administrators and the community. She said it had overwhelming support.

"The change really starts in the mind, with a mindset, moving forward and being a school of excellence,” Roberts said.

Roberts explained that the sports teams were already scheduled to get new uniforms. She said the change would be implemented over time to spread out the cost.

"It should be spent on books or the kids' uniforms,” Freeman Jenkins, a parent, said.

"The mascot isn't going to change nothing. I don't think so,” Terry Walker, a parent and former student at Selma Middle School, said.

Ronald Johnson, a school board member, voted against it.

"We've got to act fiscally responsible and not change a mascot based on what we hope it will do,” Johnson said.

In response to that criticism, Roberts said, "we will continue to seek out the resources and to utilize our resources, our finances wisely. We are not taking away from the academic programming."

Roberts said the school district has already been speaking with the business community, hoping the change will lead to donations.

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