John Burroughs Missed Out on Burros

First published in the May 21 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

While driving by John Burroughs High School the other day, I was reminded of their new mascot or team name: the Bears.

I find that very unsatisfying. It should be at least two syllables — it just sounds better. My own high school alma mater, Paso Robles, had the Bearcats.

I know the Burroughs folks wanted to get rid of “Indians” from the school name, although my understanding was that many Native Americans or indigenous people were more honored than horrified by that. Nevertheless, the change has occurred.

I think if they wanted to go with animal names, rather than people group names (Vikings, Pirates, Warriors), they missed out on a special animal — the burro. Not so popular and sometimes denigrated, the burro would be a clever and special mascot name for our local high school.

There is a John Burroughs prep school in St. Louis that uses “Bombers” as their team name, and there are other John Burroughs schools in various places, but none of these, as far as I know, has used the burro mascot. I believe someone missed a unique and clever opportunity by failing to have the “Burroughs Burros.”

David Lessley

Burbank