The decision has been made to retire the Warrior mascot logo.
The school board came together in order to discuss the major topic, changing the logo. The tally finished with seven in favor of retiring the logo while two were not in favor. Those in favor were John Dorr, Judi Fisher, James Holley, Kelly Jarvis, Deborah Kalina, Robert Schefter and Danielle Weaver-Watts, as Ron Groncki and Bruce Bauman voted nay. The school board made the decision on April 15.
After the survey votes, sent out to community members, were taken and recorded, it was shown via the school board meeting presentation that the majority of respondents were from the Alumni.
More than 20% say it should be retired, as nearly 80% of respondents feel it should be retained.
Board member Deborah Kalina was in favor of retiring the current Indian logo.
“Empathy, which is the T shirt I’m wearing this evening, is the ability to step into the shoes of another person aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives and to use that understanding to guide our actions,” said Kalina. “That is what our school district has done. Through our Diversity Committee, a thoughtful and comprehensive study of our mascot logo that brought into the conversation, the unheard voices of Native American people, we have given our community the ability to step into their shoes to hear their perspective as to why this imagery is harmful to indigenous people.I consider myself an advocate for marginalized communities. …This is not about cancel culture, it’s about recognizing a culture of people that has been asking America for more than 50 years to remove Native American sports mascots, logos and symbols, especially in public education settings. It wasn’t the Indian logo that gave meaning to me as a warrior. It was our district’s commitment to take care of every child, changing the lives of our students one warrior at a time.”
Opposing Kalina is board member Ron Groncki who is in favor of keeping the mascot.
“Going back into past history, my wife is a direct descendant of a full blooded Susquehannock Indian from the eastern shore,” said Groncki. “… This is not meant to be degrading; it has never been degrading. I don’t know where these people are getting [that] we’re insulting them or we’re not doing what is correct. As far as I am concerned, the people I have been in contact with, they are in total absolute pride of being a warrior. If the board were to vote to eliminate this logo, it would not have mine. It will not be unanimous.”
From a student perspective, junior student representative Atticus Silbaugh spoke on the topic at the meeting.
“I have talked to my peers,” said Silbaugh.“As with anything else, each side has strong opinions for both keeping the Warrior logo and getting rid of it, but the majority of them were neutral. The Warrior head is not what makes us Warriors. You do not see the logo and [think of the staff or the students].”
The offensiveness of the logo is not the only reason people want to retire it.
“[Not only is the logo racist] there is also a tobacco pipe and a weapon in the logo, which does not seem exactly school appropriate,” said Silbaugh at the meeting.
Moving forward, the new logo design process will be student led, in order to incorporate the school community.
Steps to retire and replace the logo will occur slowly in order to make sure the process runs smoothly.