The Eaglequill

Mascot Free Spirit Confined

SYMBOLIC+FIGURE%3A+Free+Spirit+flaps+her+wigs+at+the+most+recent+homecoming+pep+assembly.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Mascot Free Spirit Confined

SYMBOLIC FIGURE: Free Spirit flaps her wigs at the most recent homecoming pep assembly.

SYMBOLIC FIGURE: Free Spirit flaps her wigs at the most recent homecoming pep assembly.

Alexis Conway

SYMBOLIC FIGURE: Free Spirit flaps her wigs at the most recent homecoming pep assembly.

Alexis Conway

Alexis Conway

SYMBOLIC FIGURE: Free Spirit flaps her wigs at the most recent homecoming pep assembly.

Saron Bitew, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The announcer introduces Free Spirit with pride reflecting from his cheerful tone, proclaiming her long awaited entrance. Free Spirit’s wings are clipped, her beak is shut, her eyes are blinded under a cap, and her actions are censored as the trainer marches her around the gym floor while the student body cheers and chants, cajoling his presence. Although possessing the only live high school mascot in the state may appear to be a source of pride for our school, the ethics of parading and maintaining our Eagle, ironically named “Free Spirit” ,is not only faulty but hypocritical.

During every pep assembly her presence never goes unnoticed because we use her as a source of honor for Eaglecrest since she supposedly represents the best in our school. Even his name, Free Spirit, refers to the essence of our school, but we fail to look at her freedom; she is essentially bound to our legacy. She spends time priming for our short, insignificant interactions when in reality she should be out in the wild, living in her natural habitat. Caelan Echeverio highlighted all the latter points as she stated,

“ I hate having a live mascot. Although it’s understandable that Free Spirit can’t live in the wild anymore, it doesn’t mean we should use her for our own advantage. It must be really scary for a bird to be in a huge, crowded gym with people screaming all over.””

— Caelan Echevirio

Even though she is technically a rescue animal, we force her to be in an overcrowded gym with thousands of high schoolers yelling and cheering as she struggles to understand what the purpose is. Free Spirit spends her time with the organization Hawk Quest, which is a rescue birds in Colorado, located in Parker. Their website states, “HawkQuest is a Colorado nonprofit, charitable organization. HawkQuest’s approach to education in classrooms and lecture halls is participatory, allowing the audience to experience [our] eagles, owls, falcons and hawks at close range.” Therefore, Free Spirit is able to spend her time in a safe and friendly environment for her needs, but bringing her to a school that doesn’t provide the amenities she may need is problematic.

Despite the ethics behind owning a live mascot, many students still believe that Free Spirit is a cool and unique part of our school, which is relatively understandable because it sets our school spirit apart from any others.  Even though other schools may bring out their spirit through their cheers, we have a live representation of our schools spirit animal. Eaglecrest is notorious for its rivals in the Cherry Creek School District so having a symbol of our school’s presence seems desirable. Our recent demolition of Grandview during the September 28th football game is a prime example of that. However, some students still agree that it not only evokes fear in the bird but in students as well. Since Eagles are meant to be wild animals their behavior is dubious; therefore, students like Ashlyn Turmaine and Caelan Echeverio have explained that they feel anxious and pitiful when the bird comes out. Turmaine said, “I like having a live mascot and it’s really cool, but it gives me anxiety sometimes because animals are really unpredictable. I feel bad for it when it has its face concealed by the hat. It’s probably scared.”

Although the vanity of having a live mascot seems simple, the maintenance of the bird is costly; instead of spending school funding on other things that could help the student body, we yield those funds to constraining an Eagle we rarely interact with. In fact it is ironic that her name is “Free Spirit”, when we literally force her to be paraded around our school for amusement. Mary Merid stated, “The only reason why were the only school with a live mascot is because it’s expensive to take care of the bird, and it’s almost abusive keeping a live animal in a school with a muffle on for entertainment. It’s so weird.”

Therefore, instead of funding Free Spirit to be unwillingly displayed at our school events, it would be best if we used her as more of an ambassador, filming her endeavors outside of school and presenting them in short clips, or even giving small updates on how she is doing. It’s unnecessary to bring her to our overcrowded events, where we barely even she her, when instead we could be supporting her in healthier endeavors outside the school.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
Navigate Right
The student news site of Eaglecrest High School
Mascot Free Spirit Confined