In Speak, the school's mascot causes quite a bit of drama throughout the first half of the novel. The school board deems the original mascot, "the Blue Devil," inappropriate, and the new mascot is the Tigers. However, this mascot doesn't last long as the Ecology Club protests the name as showing "'shocking disrespect' for an endangered creature." The student council holds an election for students to choose between the names "The Bees," "Icebergs," "Hilltoppers," and "Wombats." The students settle on the name "Wombats." Then the school principal decides that the Wombat mascot costume is going to take money away from prom. He changes the mascot name one more time and the school mascot becomes the Hornets.
There are two instances of irony in this situation. While the school's mascot is changed for sensitivity reasons, the students chant the suggestive "WE ARE THE HORNETS, / HORNY, HORNY HORNETS!" at their games and rallies and the cheerleaders do the "Hornet Hustle" when they shake their stingers.
The second ironic situation in this book is the overall situation of the school fighting over the name of a mascot, while Melinda's rapist, Andy, walks around the school and is treated with awe by the students. As a result of this, the seriousness of the struggles Melinda is experiencing as a rape survivor throughout the novel highlight the silliness of the mascot argument.