Name of High School Yearbook Racially Insensitive: Student

High school yearbooks are going out across north Texas, but one in particular has caused some to take a second look.

The word "Coonskin" is printed in the Frisco High School yearbook.

It's the name of the annual publication, but some people said it is racially insensitive.

Anniyah Rawlins, a junior at Frisco High, said she was shocked when she saw the word on the front page of the yearbook.

"I thought it was kind of racially insensitive to still have that as the name especially when our mascot we used to be called the 'Coons' 'til they changed it," Rawlins said.

Frisco High School changed its name in 2002 to 'Raccoons.'

Frisco's connection to the animal dates back centuries. The red background in city's logo was inspired by a raccoon hide.

Frisco High School adopted the mascot in the 1920s because a student had a pet raccoon "and it stuck," a school district spokesperson said.

While few feel its use in Frisco was ever intended to offend, some pointed out context of the term nowadays had changed.

"So why perpetuate something they didn't want to happen in the first place," said Dono Pelham, pastor of Life-Changing Faith Christian Fellowship, one of the largest African-American churches in Frisco.

"This word has history, this word has objective history, not just in Frisco but in the United States so perhaps it's time for change," Pelham said.

In a statement, Frisco ISD said, "The school continued to use the name 'Coonskin' for its yearbook as a way of maintaining the pride and tradition that had been associated with it in the community for decades."

Rawlins said she didn't think any of it was done maliciously but said she's speaking out to spare other students the feelings she experienced.

"I’d like to see the name changed," she said.

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