Offensive School Traditions That Somehow Lasted Until Now

Offensive school mascots somehow seem to get swept under the rug until the internet gets hold of them, but there are still plenty of racist school traditions still prospering across the US and around the world. The problem with high school is that the kids' brains don't work yet. It's true, there’s science that says so. Also, how else would you explain the following stories?

What are the most racist high school traditions? There are plenty of offensive mascots in schools around the world and they, along with some insane school traditions, are highlighted on this list of offensive school traditions.

Photo: Joseph Sohm /

  • A 'Bums Vs. Billionaires' Spirit Week Theme

    Bums Vs. Billionaires” is one of the spirit week themes at Plano East Senior High School in Texas, but some think that the students have gone too far. Kids have been dressing up like homeless people - complete with makeshift cardboard signs, tattered clothes, and dirt on their faces - and posting pictures of themselves on social media.

    Many believe that these students are making light out of the plight of the unhoused.

  • Offensive Mascots

    Lots of high schools have some pretty nasty mascots. It’s not like the adult world is setting the best example, with the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins, but doesn’t it seem like this would be a great opportunity for the new generation to throw their parents’ mistakes right in their faces and not do exactly the same thing? 

    Most shocking of all has got to be the Hays High School “Rebel” mascot, which was modeled after a Confederate soldier and frequently adorned with the Confederate flag.

  • 'Senores and Senoras' Day

    Anaheim Canyon High School in Anaheim, CA, permanently canceled their annual “Senores and Senoras” day for their students in 2011. The event was brought to the attention of the school district by former student Jared Garcia-Kessler, who said, “I was in awe. I really couldn't believe that the school let it get that far.”

  • A Racist School Nickname

    In Akron, Ohio, athletes from the East High School were formerly known as the “Orientals.” The nickname was changed to the ”Dragons" after an alumni association vote in 2011.

  • Bestiality-Themed Mascot T-Shirts

    In 2009, students at Memorial High School in Houston, TX secretly sold t-shirts depicting horses assaulting a cheerleader. This was apparently part of an annual tradition in which students designed shirts aimed at insulting rival school Stratford High.

  • N-Word Chants

    In 2011, it was discovered that the girls’ basketball team for Kenmore East High School near Buffalo, NY, had a decades-old tradition of beginning games by sticking their hands in a circle and chanting “one two three n*****!”

    It wasn’t until a Black student joined the team (and the teamed continued to perform the ritual without her) that any attention was brought to it, or anyone even considered to tell the school officials.

    The excuse the students gave is exactly what you would expect: “We’re not being racist,” they said, “it’s just a word.”