Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Independent School District seems to have resolved its school colors issue, after the board rejected a motion to allow students to choose more "modern" colors.
In October, the board voted to reaffirm the original school colors of "royal blue" and "old gold," as part of an effort to reverse a trend in recent years toward navy blue and gold colors.
On Wednesday, board member Rafael Saenz III introduced a motion to return the school colors to what they were at the start of the school year, and to consult with school staff and students before making any more changes. Saenz said the item had been placed on the agenda at the request of board member Javier Solis, who was not present, but he also supported the item.
"I voted with the rest of the board, 7-0, back in October to change the colors, but I shouldn't have voted for it," Saenz said.
Chelsea Balli, a senior at San Diego High School, told the board her class had started its time in high school with the navy blue and gold colors, and they wanted to finish their time with those colors.
"They say that the royal blue is the original color, but navy blue is our original color," Balli said. "The colors we have now are sophisticated and more modern looking, and they stand out. That makes San Diego unique. Everybody wants it because that's who we are."
Board President Pete Guerra told the students they should have more "Vaquero Pride," and board vice president Libby Vela said since the school colors were originally adopted in 1935, reaffirming the colors was a matter of tradition.
"I feel it's like the flag. Our school colors, our song and everything that goes with being a Vaquero needs to be held in respect," Vela said. "We have to teach our children that there are some things you grow up being proud and strong about."
Vela also reminded the students the change back to the original colors would be made gradually.
Although Saenz's motion to change the colors back to what they were at the start of the school year died for lack of a second, the board voted unanimously in its next item to allow students at this year's graduation to wear navy blue graduation gowns.
Following the meeting, Balli said she felt the board had changed the argument by talking about "Vaquero Pride," rather than the colors.
"They don't take into consideration that we have to go to school every day, we have to show up for events in the colors they want, not what we want," Balli said.