Despite a protest by scores of parents and students about the nickname for Mission Viejo High School--Diablo, or the devil--school officials said Friday that the name will stick.
"The Diablo name is going to remain," said Jeff Herdman, director of testing, research and community relations for the school district. "But there's going to be a new drawing, a new design" for the school logo.
About 400 parents attended a school board meeting this week to debate a possible nickname change. Some said the name promotes Satanism. But the majority at the meeting indicated that they did not want to change it.
"Most of those wanting to keep the name were from the athletic booster teams," said Bonnie Bryner, a mother opposed to the Diablo name. "I was booed when I spoke. I was shocked that more people from the Christian community didn't come out to support me."
'Half a Victory'
But, Bryner said, "I guess we won half a victory. God will send more people on this issue. God has a way of making lemonade out of lemons."
District and high school officials said Friday that a firm decision has been made to keep the name Diablo. But the traditional depiction of a devil, which is on at least one wall at the high school and on various sports publications, may be going.
Mission Viejo High Principal Bob Metz said Friday that although the decision to keep the name was firm, the question of the logo would be left to the Associated Student Body, the student government.
"I'm not going to try to predict what's going to happen," Metz said. "There might be a change. If a change is suggested in the way the (Diablos) image is depicted, we'll let the students vote on it."
Picture of Devil
Metz said the overwhelming majority of students at Mission Viejo High have indicated they want to keep the name Diablos. He said the controversy mainly has involved the pictures of a devil.
Metz said the debate goes back to the opening of the school in 1966.
"We need to be sensitive to the people who are offended by this," he said. "I can understand how the depiction has offended a portion of our population."
Raghu Mathur, president of the Saddleback Valley Unified District Board of Trustees, said Friday that he hopes the solution will be in a new "image" for Diablo. "The complaints have been coming in for the past 20 years, and they've been more about the insignia rather than the name itself," he said.