What are the mascots at Merryweather High School in Speak?

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The mascots at Merryweather High School in Speak undergo several changes. Initially, they are the Trojans, then the Blue Devils, followed by the Tigers. After objections from the Ecology Club, the Wombat wins a vote but is replaced by the Principal with the Hornet. Despite controversy over a cheer, the Hornet remains the final mascot.

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There are a few mascots mentioned in SpeakThe first mascot mentioned is, of course, the Trojan. Since the Trojan War was presumably fought over an adulterous alliance between Paris (a Trojan prince) and Helen (wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta), Merryweather High officials decide that the school mascot will be the Blue Devils

The next mascot is the Tiger. However, the Ecology Club argues that it is a grave disrespect to make an endangered animal the school mascot. The Ecology Club's protests eventually lead to a vote for a new mascot. The school has a difficult time choosing a new mascot to replace the Tiger, however. Melinda tells us that some initial ideas were considered but that none of them were suitable. For example, "Buccaneers" represent pirates who promoted violence and discrimination against women. Meanwhile, "Warriors" is an insult to Native Americans, and "Overbearing Eurocentric Patriarchs" is too controversial to suggest.

The choices eventually come down to four: the Wombat, Bee, Hilltopper, and Iceberg. The Wombat wins the most votes, and everyone thinks that the next school mascot has been decided. However, the Principal decides against the choice. He chooses the Hornet instead, claiming that hornets better represent the values of Merryweather High. Additionally, the Principal argued that the Wombat costume would cost too much, taking away from the prom budget. Seniors support the Hornet choice because they do not want their prom location to be moved from the Holiday Inn Ballroom to the school gymnasium.

The students are only able to call themselves the Hornets for a short time before controversy begins again. The PTA starts a petition to change the school mascot after students begin singing about "horny hornets" and performing the sexy "Hornet Hustle" dance. The student council fights back with a counterpetition, asking for stability and consistency in the choice of mascots. In the end, the Hornet stays as the school mascot; no mention is made of ever changing it.

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Merryweather High School (the school which is attended by Melinda, the protagonist of Speak) undergoes several changes in mascots over the course of the book. The first mascot featured in the book is that of the Trojans, which the school board feels does not represent the message of abstinence that they want to convey to the impressionable teenage students. The mascot is, thus, changed to the Blue Devils. Melinda wryly comments on this, stating, "Better the Devil you known than the Trojan you don't, I guess."

This doesn't last for long, however, and the school board decides that the new mascot will be the Merryweather Tigers. The Ecology Club believes that this is "degrading an endangered species," and so a vote is taken to determine the next mascot. There are three votes for Bees, seventeen votes for Icebergs, one vote for Hilltoppers, thirty-two votes for Wombats, and one-thousand-five-hundred-and-forty-seven illegible or written in votes. Despite the vote, the Principal decides to make the mascot the Hornets. 

After some students make a cheer at the basketball game about "Horny Hornets," the PTA starts a petition to get rid of this mascot. Due to the immense student pride in this mascot, however, it manages to stick around.

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In Speak, what do the changing mascots at Merryweather High School reflect?

Speak is the story of Melinda, a freshman at Merryweather High School, who is carrying around a secret from the summer. She has lost touch with all of her former friends, and only refers to the event as IT. Melinda struggles in all of her classes, except art. No one seems to notice or take an interest in why Melinda is feeling the way she is; their main focus is on the ever changing mascot of the High School.

The higher ups at the school want to make sure the mascot is one that will be politically correct. Their main focus has been on that, which is ironic, because while they are concerned about the mascot, they have a student who is going through this major trauma in her life, and no one seems to care about it. Melinda can't find her voice to admit what really happened to her, just like the school can't decide on a "politically correct" mascot that will make everyone happy. Once Melinda does find her voice, the whole world opens up.

"IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding. Andy Evans raped me in August when I was drunk and too young to know what was happening. It wasn't my fault. He hurt me. It wasn't my fault. And I am not going to let it kill me. I can grow."

By the time Melinda accepts what happened to her and speaks it, nothing else seems to matter. The ever changing mascots are symbolic of the changes Melinda has made in her life.

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In Speak, what do the changing mascots at Merryweather High School reflect?

The mascots change about four times I believe, from names such as Trojans and Devils and Hornets. The principal changes these mascots so many times because he is striving to find one that is "safe" and "appropriate." However, while he is wasting his time changing mascots, the students are having real issues. Melinda was raped, but the principal is clueless, trying to find politically correct mascots. The changing of the identities of the mascot also reflects Melinda's uncertain identity, as she holds on to the secret of her rape.

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