By Chloe Loquet
February 5, 2021
Mascots play a huge role in what we view as the “school experience”. These symbols allow us to gain a greater sense of community and belonging. Mascots allow us to boost morale and school pep. Now that Malibu Middle School has officially separated fr/om Malibu High School, we have been left mascotless. The question is: if we are no longer the Sharks, then what will be our schools new mascot?
One of the largest questions that our school must answer is if our mascot will follow the trend set by the other three public schools in Malibu. Webster Elementary has Wally the Whale, Malibu Elementary has their Sea Lion, and Malibu High has Sharky Shark. Will we continue the wave of choosing a marine animal as our mascot? As Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume recently joined forces to form Malibu Elementary, they also had to choose a new mascot. The school made the decision that their new symbol had to be a native resident of our local marine biome. That poses the question: how important is it that our new mascot be a marine creature that lives in our geographic area or would this criteria overly restrict our options? One positive of following this same specification is that it ensures that our mascot has a deeper connection to our community.
Another question being asked is, should the name of our next mascot begin with the letter ‘M’ so that our name follows alliteration? One popular candidate that has been brought up is a Marlin. Marlins, which are part of the swordfish family, are fierce looking fish with snouts that resemble sharp spears. This sea creature not only begins with the letter “M” but the blue marlin is a native to Malibu’s marine biome. Yet another prime candidate is the Manta Ray. Manta Rays are huge, almost alien-looking ocean creatures that have wing-like pectoral fins. Although these animals are not native to Malibu’s marine community, they are sea creatures that follow the alliteration criteria. Other strong candidates for the role include the Megalodons, Mariners, the Manatees, the Makos, and the Urchins.
Yet another major question is whether or not our mascot should tie into Malibu High School’s. We have the shark stickers on our cars, and loads of shark apparel. Having been viewed as the same school for so long, we have built our identity around the Malibu High Shark. Now that we have journeyed off as our own separate school, we must form a new identity for ourselves. We have to decide if we want to connect our new identity to the shark that we have come to love.
Something interesting that we often forget is the history of Malibu Park Junior High. Malibu High School was not actually founded until 1992. In 1963, Malibu Park Junior High was established open to grades 7-9. The original school’s mascot was a spartan and they barred school colors of green and yellow. It was not until 1988 that the school began integrating higher grades and in 1992, the site became Malibu High School, home of the Sharks. Although Spartans are not sea dwellers, they do hold sentimental value in our community and hold deep roots at our school.
A great aspect of having to find a new school symbol is that we, as students and members of the community, have the opportunity to find a mascot that truly represents our school’s present day spirit. You have the opportunity to take part in a decision that could last for decades. You have the ability to select a symbol to represent our school that embodies the values and principles you view to be most important within our community. If you could choose, what icon would you pick to represent Malibu Middle School for years to come?