Topic

mascot

193 petitions

This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to John Robison (Davis School District Board of Education President), Reid P. Newey (Davis School District Superintendent), Liz Mumford (Davis School District Board of Education Vice President), Julie Tanner (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Brigit Gerrard (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Gordon Eckersley (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Marie Stevenson (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Cheryl Phipps (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Randy Lewis (Bountiful City Mayor), Lorene Miner Kamalu (Davis County Commission Chair), Bob J Stevenson (Davis County Commission Vice Chair), Randy B Elliott (Davis County Commissioner), Aaron Hogge (Bountiful High School Principal), Douglas Hammerschmidt (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal), Travis Warnick (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal)

Change Bountiful High School's Offensive and Racist Mascot

I graduated from Bountiful High in 2013. In the wake of recent events, I wanted to draw attention to the offensive, outdated, and racist mascot of Bountiful High School, the Brave and advocate for a change. As we see a shift on the national level with professional teams reevaluating their racist mascots, we are hoping to make one here, closer to home. It's shameful and embarrassing to me that Bountiful High is one out of the three high schools in Utah that still uses an indigenous person as their mascot. It is not right that a rich culture and history is being reduced to a mascot. The idea of changing the mascot has been explored in the past, but there have been minimal changes to the representation of Indigenous peoples in the school. Now is the time to change the mascot and rectify the years of inherent and obvious racism at the heart of Bountiful High School. Let's work together to change that. The predominant argument against changing our mascot, the Brave, is that it's part of our history and tradition. That type of tradition has no place in the future of the school, and is not something that the community should be proud of. It is inappropriate to use the images and culture of indigenous people in this manner. Native Americans and indigenous people have rich history and culture and should not be reduced to a stereotype or caricature. Some of the common practices of the student body are wearing face paint and headdresses while screaming “war cries” at sporting events and assemblies and it is unacceptable. Homecoming parties are called Pow-wows, insensitive chants are used at school events, and tomahawk chops were common practice. These are only a few of the things embedded into the Bountiful High School culture that are inherently racist and unethical. As an institution of education that teaches students about the negative results of racism and social injustice, Bountiful High cannot continue using this mascot and logo while teaching against it. Students can be proud of their school without having to wear shirts and accessories that appropriate another culture. During my time at Bountiful High, I participated in these practices and was uninformed about their harm. It is the job of the adult educators, faculty, administration, school board, and superintendent to ensure that the students they are responsible for understand the impact of their own actions. In my case, no adult ever pointed out the ramifications, inherent racism, and harm of the cultural appropriation that was rampant at Bountiful High School. I am teaching myself as an adult and want to make a change so future students don't have to live with the shame and regret over participating in racist traditions many of us Bountiful Alumni are grappling with today.  Please remove this harmful mascot, and build a new future and traditions for Bountiful High School. I believe the students and community can come together and create new ideas for a mascot more fitting of our Bountiful values! (The photo used in this petition was taken from Bountiful High's Facebook Page, is currently their profile picture, and uploaded as of 10/27/2018)

Mallory Rogers
5,985 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Michael Mongon, Anthony DiCarlo, Adam Savino, Ben Dilullo, David Furaro, Lawrence Keane, Lucy Massafra, Tanner McCracken, Ray McDonough, Michael Simone

Retiring Mahopac's 'Indian' Mascot

Since its founding over 80 years ago, Mahopac Central School District has perpetuated inequity and capitalized on colonialism. Despite our district claiming “it’s…important to us that students’ social, emotional, and overall wellbeing is supported,” our community continues to ignore bigotry as an issue. Have we forgotten the headlines denoting four instances of racism related to Mahopac student conduct—once in 2012, twice in 2014, and again in April of this year? Turning a blind eye to toxic ideology will only exacerbate the problem for current and future generations living in our community. In a comprehensive research report by Brown University’s Dr. Michael A. Friedman, “Indian” sports mascots were shown to harmfully “perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” Furthermore, “hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Indian mascots.” Currently, Native Americans are still being oppressed and marginalized in society. They face the continual loss of territory due to oil industry buyouts, voter repression via unjust legislation, and high levels of violence, especially toward Native women (which is often disregarded by local authorities) among many other injustices. Mahopac’s “Indian” mascot is a reminder of these acts of divisiveness and marginalization, which further emphasizes our community’s inability to eliminate racism. We need to unite together to end the racial discrimination scarring our community by removing a symbol that has held us back from healing for far too long. Therefore, I propose that instead of complacency, we implement a united systemic transformation of belief. My action plan involves three steps: Community engagement, educational forum development, and rebranding. Step 1 involves you. I am calling upon individuals to sign this petition to inform the School Board of the Mahopac Central School District and Anthony DiCarlo, the superintendent of the Mahopac Central School District, of our concerns and propose the solutions addressed in Steps 2 and 3. Step 2 involves the community. Together we can develop an open forum for our municipality to safely and appropriately discuss taboo topics (i.e., race, gender, ethnicity). Let us better ourselves through conversation and education. Lastly, Step 3 involves Adidas. In 2015, Adidas launched the “Mascot Change” initiative, which is a voluntary program for high schools that “would give schools access to the company’s design team for logo redesign and uniform design across all sports.” This is a grant-funded initiative that requires a simple proposal from a school district to instigate change at little monetary and temporal cost. It is not my intention to eliminate Native American culture from Mahopac entirely. The biggest issue in our mascot, besides its racist connotation, is that there is no public education regarding the ancestors of our land. Together, we can celebrate and learn about the Wappinger tribe that lived on this territory, and how Mahopac as we know it came to be. There is irony surrounding our pride for the “Mahopac Indians” without knowing anything about the tribe’s history. All three steps can engage the community toward fostering a more inclusive neighborhood. In our current cultural climate, many people will feel that this initiative is too “politically correct” and that they are not responsible for what happened to Native Americans. No, we may not be independently responsible for the genocide and injustices that Native American communities have faced throughout history; however, we are responsible for the cultural appropriation that Mahopac has undertaken in using the “Indian” as our mascot. There is precedent from nearby districts taking action to address similar appropriation. In 2002, Ossining High School changed its “Indian” mascot after the state education commissioner “requested that districts stop using American Indian symbols as mascots”. Most recently, in November 2019, Superintendent Andrew Selesnick voted with the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board to retire their 'Indian' mascot stating: "In 2019, maintaining the mascot is at odds with our educational mission...If we are to teach our students the importance of truly listening when someone or some group tells us that our behavior or our words are harmful or unwelcome, then we as a district should serve as a model.” By separating ourselves from a symbol of imperialist oppression, we can begin the process of redeveloping our values as a community. I am proud and privileged to have grown up in Mahopac, but without a plan to curb the harmful rhetoric that has been tolerated for far too long, our district will be known for our tolerance for racism, rather than the wealth of knowledge and abundant resources in our area. ~Sincerely, Daniel Ehrenpreis, 2012 graduate of Mahopac High School dsehrenp@gmail.com

Daniel Ehrenpreis
6,757 supporters