Controversy brews over Oak Hills logo - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Controversy continues over the use of Oak Hills logo

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A community is at odds over the use of a school logo in youth sports. The argument is happening in Oak Hills and now lawyers are getting involved.

Oak Hills Local Schools say they do not own the old English O-H logo used to represent their district. They say the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters own it.

In an effort to ensure the logo was used to support the Oak Hills mission, an attorney for the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters tells us they asked every organization wishing to continue to use the logo to sign and return an agreement stating they would adhere to a number of requirements and pay a $25 fee.

The Little Highlanders did not wish to sign the agreement because of the last paragraph - stating even if the organization did adhere to those guidelines, the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters would still have the right to take the logo away.

On Monday night, the school board passed a resolution to support the Boosters decision to require different organizations to sign an agreement. The school board vote was 3-2 to pass the resolution. Jeanie Schoonover and Steve Schinkal did not support the current action of the board, the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters and the Oak Hills Youth Athletic (OHYA) group.

"Unfortunately there's been no one single issue that has dominated my time over the last year and a half than this one and it has completely overshadowed the great things that we're doing in the district," says Superintendent Todd Yohey.

Kristy Robinson grew up in the Oak Hills district and now is raising her family there. Her three children play youth sports for the Little Highlanders, an organization that has been in the community for 40 years. Many of these years, the team has used the O-H as part of their uniforms.

"I feel that this logo isn't just a representation of athletics. I feel it's a representation of the community and of the district -plain and simple," says Robinson.

An attorney for the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters sent a letter to the president of the Little Highlanders stating the organization must stop using the O-H logo or risk a lawsuit. It is a request the President of the Little Highlanders says is ridiculous.

"It's not taking it away from anyone on the board or any of the coaches. Those people have already worn the O-H. The majority of them did. I know I did. So it's not taking it away from me. It's taking it away from 420 kids, football players and cheerleaders," says Ed Badinghous.

It's a fight they may end up in court. However, Robinson says the issue could easily be solved.

"It should be owned by the district, not the boosters. Ultimately, the kids will be the ones who suffer," says Robinson.

The superintendent of Oak Hills says they do not have a stance on the issue. He says it is an argument that has been going on for months causing separation within the district. He hopes for the students' sake, both sides can come to an agreement.

According to a letter from the attorney representing Oak Hills Athletic Boosters, Little Highlanders has until Jan. 29 to stop all use of the logo and provide documentation of any funds they have made from the use of the logo or risk a lawsuit.

We reached out to the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters for comment but did not receive a response by our deadline. However, we did speak with their attorney who tells us the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters are doing this because they are concerned about the misuse of the logo on social media and in other forms. They also do not want any confusion between the Little Highlanders and a new youth sports organization called Oak Hills Youth Athletics.

According to their website, the Oak Hills Youth Athletics organization is separate from the Oak Hills School District but works closely with the Oak Hills Athletic Boosters.

The school board says they're in the process of trying to get complete ownership of the logo. However, they say that's a process that takes a long time.

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