Urgent: read this today!!

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Messages which absolutely need to be seen today due to time constraints or breaking news. Remember to check the "new answers" link for the most active topics.

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2000


As mentioned to most of you earlier today, this is from the Syracuse Herald-American, March 5. It is contained as a frame at the Earnestman site, and when you try to print it out it only prints the frame, so don't bother trying. I was thinking I ought to get it printed out and drop in in the night deposit at the former RK's Video in Shokan, where I believe one of the opposition leaders is an owner, but then decided that maybe it would be more useful to just let them put their energy into this restoration of the Indian project and then have the wind taken out of their sails by a Mills announcement. Whaddya think?

This is just the first few paragraphs, you can find the rest of the story here

State takes on Indian nicknames

By Scott Scanlon

For as long as most people can remember, the image of an Indian Warrior crashing through a brick wall, tomahawk drawn, has emblazoned a gym wall at Onteora High School in the Catskill Mountains.

Now the Warrior is coming down - not only from the wall, but as the school mascot. In January, the school board voted 4-3 to drop the nickname, deciding it belittled Native Americans, was a subtle form of racism and sent the wrong message to children and the community.

The response, said Hal Rowe, superintendent for the 2,400-student district, was immediate, "very emotional and angry." Unhappy residents packed the next board meeting, and commissioners who favored the change received threatening letters.

Soon, the debate could be repeated across New York. A report by the state Education Department, expected to be released this month, recommends that Commissioner Richard P. Mills require school districts to phase out Native American mascots and nicknames. The impact could be far-reaching: Roughly 1 in 6 upstate high schools - 110 out of 694 districts - have Indian nicknames.

In Central New York, 23 schools sport Indian nicknames - the most of any region in the state. Resistance to changing team names is likely to run deep...

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

Whoops: Just found a boo-boo...The "Chief Reclining Skunk" was not from 1985, rather from the Jr. High Yearbook, Arrowhead, in 1983...sorry for the mistake...I'll correct it on any future pictures.

Now they'll hang me for that one! OUCH! my neck! Tobe

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2000

letter from Sharon Langling...nasty??

I want to share a letter I got today...it was sent also to all the board members.

I'll probably correct the bit about the wrong date on the reclining skunk picture at the next board meeting and write her something philosophical...anyone want to suggest language?


here's the letter:

Dear Mr. Carey: I have leafed through the 1985 Tomahawk Yearbook, page by page, and cannot find the picture of "Chief Reclining Skunk" to which you have repeatedly referred. However a photo of your son, Zachary, appears on page 72.

Why has it taken you 15 years to find the 1985 Tomahawk Yearbook offensive?

Sincerely, Sharon Langling

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2000

here's my first pass at an answer to Sahron langling...hard to keep the sarcasm out of it...help please.


Dear Sharon Langling:

Sorry if there was any confusion on where the picture of "Chief Reclining Skunk" came from. I just checked my notes, and I see it was used in 1983, not 1985, and you'll find it in the Arrowhead Junior High Yearbook.

It's not that it has taken me 15 years to find the yearbook offensive, but rather that I was unfortunately unconscious of the way "Indians" were being treated until others in the community pointed it out. There was a culture that fostered this unthinking, uncritical look at "Indians" existing throughout the school community, and I was a part of it. Sad to say, I didn't even pay attention when it was brought up in public more than two years ago. Since then, as what I would consider slap in the face if it happened to me, another "Indian" stereotype was added to the gym wall.

Now, after some research it has become very clear to me that this kind of treatment and use of stereotypes is hurtful to those whom we proposed to honor. And they have stood up to say so. Why is it so difficult for you to listen to them?

And sadder to say, even after the recent information that has been readily available throughout the district, many still don't seem to understand what's at stake here. It's no longer a matter of original "intent', when Native Americans simply say that it is not an honor to be depicted as "noble" or "stoic", "warriors" or simply "savages".

In fact, I think it's extraordinarily selfish, after all we now know, that district residents still insist on usurping "Indian" images and religious items to cheer on a sports team. Perhaps you don't know that eagle feathers, tomahawks, totem poles and other such items are religious icons to Native Americans and have no business being used in our schools in the way they are. Consider yourself informed. Here's a web site that will give you much more information if you care to do some research on your own: http://earnestman.tripod.com/

I've enclosed a few pages that will answer frequently asked question about this subject in very clear terms. I hope you'll share this with others who may have the same questions as you.

Should we consider "honoring" Christians by depictions in our yearbooks of saints and religious icons throughout the school. Should we say the Christian virtues are what lead us to victory in sports and give our school the courage to overcome other athletic teams? Should we show Crusaders breaking through the wall, killing "infidels" in the name of the one true religion, as a means of pumping up our students in pep rallies or at half times at football games? Is this OK, as long as the "intent" is to honor?

Furthermore, even if it weren't tantamount to stealing their religious and cultural heritage for secular use, the ways these images are used aren't even authentic. They have nothing to do with Native peoples of this region. This teaches our children that it's OK to take a race's identity and religious symbols if we want to, as long as we claim it's to honor them. And it's teaching incorrect history to boot. It's bad manners, bad sportsmanship and bad education.

These stereotypes have no place in our schools. If we agree that in the 1950's the culture accepted this as an attempt to "honor", we surely know better now, don't we? Don't you?


Tobe Carey

Cc: Dr. Hal Rowe Board of Education members Interim High School Principal, Thomas Jackson Middle school Principal, Gayle Kavanaugh

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2000

My letter just faxed to Barbara Ruben, principal of Woodstock School. I hope she gets it, I was out running errands all day and couldn't do it till now. If anyone knows her by sight, please introduce me to her so I can give her a copy if she left before this one arrived. Carol (using another address to see if it gets me further down the page, but please use the compuserve one in writing me as it is more reliable)


Barbara Ruben Principal, Woodstock School

Dear Ms. Ruben,

I am writing regarding this evening's Board of Education meeting, which will be held at your school.

I don't know your opinions on the issue of the Onteora mascot, but for the moment let us not focus on which perspective on the issue either of us holds. It has become obvious to all that it is an issue that has torn the Onteora community apart, and emotions are still running very high. Some have threatened to keep the budget from passing as a political issue over this, as if hurting our kids' education was a useful and laudable tactic. There have been instances of harassment of Board of Education members and members of the groups who would like to see a mascot more suitable to the 21st century our students will grow up in.

There are some of us who have attended Board meetings in which the Indian mascot was discussed, who felt physically threatened by the pervasive atmosphere of disrespect. The Board president, Martin Millman, has not always been able to keep order, and the police in attendance have not always been willing to insist on order.

I'm asking you to make sure that there is an atmosphere of respect at the meeting tonight, if others in authority are not willing to take the lead. It was difficult for me to be surrounded by hecklers and screamers at the Bennett School Board of Education meeting in February, and to realize I didn't feel safe in my daughters' own school.

Will you make sure that while this meeting is on your school property, that all attending will model the respectful behavior we expect of our children? If there is heckling and jeering and other disrespectful behavior, will you take the lead in making sure that it doesn't embolden a mob psychology? Will you think about asking other trusted adults who attend tonight to also be aware of the crowd's attitudes, and make sure that the dialogue stays respectful and civil, no matter how we disagree on the issues?

I hope that you will help to be a voice for peace and healing in this dialogue.


Carol Maltby

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2000

Here is a transcript of JD's remarks from the 1.24.00 meeting...for all to use countering any misinformation...Jim is writing a letter specifically to speak to Doan's latest in the W Times. It's very imprtant to note that after these opening remarks, JD did not say ONE word in the board discussion that followed...more than 30 minutes of silence...never once asking to delay the vote, or saying his constituents were being heard (especially after M Millman presented a petition with what he claims are 450 plus signatures, asking to keep the "Indian")or to slow things down for more consdieration. etc etc..Just more of the same misinformation after the vote.

I wonder if the vote had gone his way, would he have said it was too fast, since he was in favor of removing the Indian from the gym wall (or so he says)


During the past two weeks I've spoken with hundreds of people in the community and I've tried to come to a fair and just conclusion concerning the use of the "Indian" logo and school symbol. The people who I've spoken with are honest, hard working and open-minded. During this period my opinion has changed half-a dozen times, and personally, I'm leaning towards eliminating the name and logo, but I cannot ignore the overwhelming majority opinion of the people I have spoken with not to change the logo or the name of the school.

I therefore would vote not to change the name with the following conditions: that we should cease using the "Indian" logo that offends some of our neighbors, including "Indian" heads, tomahawks, totem poles, and especially the "Indian" on the gymnasium wall.

Is this a fair compromise? I think it is and I'd like to see this issue put behind us, and move on to the more important issues that await us.

I'd also like to expand school curriculum about Native American studies that people have spoken about tonight to insure an accurate understanding of them and (how) our children learn about these things. I know that it's probably something that hasn't been taught in the past and that probably should be. Thank you.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

At the 3/27 BOE meeting last night the tone was more focused on Hal Rowe. The couple with the allegedly abused child spoke once more in the same accusatory manner and even mentioning the name of the underage perpetrator. It was over the top again. Other vague unsubstantiated accusations were made as to misappropriation of funds in previous years. At the end of the meeting, it got weird. Hal strongly reprimanded the board for allowing the public-be-heard to get out of control and wanted it stopped. He said that he felt it was a concerted effort to publicly humiliate him and that he wasn't able to respond and defend himself because of pending litigation. He felt that it had gotten out of the control of the board and that it created a dangerous situation that opened the door to grandstanding and public accusations. The board spent at least 20 minutes trying to figure a way to resolve the issue by suggesting police, new rules...but I believe a agreement was reached to just enforce the existing rules more stringently. Everyone was tired. Marino said Carol Maltby's letter regarding more info on the middle school was "incredibly intelligent" and would pass it on to the Syntex consulting firm for the bond issue. The president of the West Hurley PTA also sent a letter that was given lot's of consideration which was not in favor of a middle school based on educational issues. Rainbow spoke eloquently and BJ( I think that's her name) gave a really heartfelt talk on acceptance and coming together on issues. It definitly seems as if the mascot issue is behind us for the time being.

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000

[beaming and curtsying and blowing a kiss to Marino]

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000

for those of you who need (or want it) here's the transcript from the 1.10.00 BOE meeting and Doan's comments at the 1.24.00 meeting, after which he was completely silent during the rest of the discussion leading up to the vote (more than 30 minutes).


Marty MIllman: 0:00 We have a discussion now on the request from community members that we address the objections expressed as they have from the various people that spoke. I'm going to ask my fellow board members to speak on the issue, and I appreciate those in the audience that, let them be heard, let them speak without any comments or criticisms, just as we've let you speak without any comments or criticisms, so I appreciate your cooperation on that level. This is a sensitive issue, and we want to discuss it in a mature way without any outside influences at this point.

A little background: several years ago, I think it was two years ago, we had a similar group come to the Phoenecia School with a similar objection to the things that were happening in the form of mascots and um names. The people that supported the issue came with petitions in excess of thousand students that signed these petitions. Standing by what they had right now I'm very pleased with. We had a Native American speak to us in the audience who did not object to these particular objections that you people have [come] to. Nothing here was done with malice and certainly nothing was done to cause you people to be irritated or angry with what you see. I want to remind you of that. It was done in an attitude of sportsmanship and good faith. It was not done to anger anybody, certainly any minority. We spoke to the children, and children were, students were well represented at that meeting. Many stood up and spoke, standing by the issues and standing by what we have. Times have changed. That was two or three years ago, and things have become more sensitive now, and we've become more aware of problems that exist, and we want to resolve these problems in a mature manner. I ask my fellow Board members to make a contribution to this discussion, and um, speak from the heart. Who would like to be the first one to speak? Meg?

Meg Carey: I really want to thank those of you who spoke this evening, and I want to say that it was very strong, and I really heard what you were saying and I feel that it has been brought to our attention not only now but several years ago, that the images of Native Americans and language used at Onteora are derog-, found to be derogatory and offensive to members of our community. And I believe that Onteora should support the promotion of positive portrayals of all individuals and ethnic groups, and I believe that we, this school district, should eliminate the use of mascots, logos and symbols that serve to perpetuate racism and bigotry in our society. I believe that this school district, and we as the leaders of this district, should immediately end the negatve Native American imagery that exists at Onteora. (applause)

Millman: Thank you Meg. Tom, would you speak?

Tom Rosato: I moved here a number of years ago from the city, and most of my experiences here in the school district have been very positive. But, in hearing as people speak about your um, your problems, your, your shame at what you see here on our walls, it brings to mind an experience that I had, and was the only experience that I had. I'm an Italian- American, of Italian descent. I had a neighbor who thought I was a no-good ginny.

That has never left me. That was a number of years ago. My children were very young, and fortunately, um, they didn't hear that. But my parents were there with me at barbecue and they heard my name be yelled this out, and my father especially was very, very upset, so was my mom. And it stayed with me till this day. [5:00] I also feel that this negative portrayal of people of color on our gym walls, or anywhere else we find it should be removed. We should be portraying people in a positive manner. I was fortunate enough to read, [if] I may share this with you, a book not too long ago called Hanta Yo, which is about our Native American people. And this was a true depiction and a true history of what our First Nation people experienced, and we do not see that on our walls. We don't see that at all. My children are not learning what our nation's first people were truly like. I also support removing any reference or any verbiage to uh, people of color, whether it be Indian or otherwise, but in this case of course it's our Indian, uh, mascot, and I would support removing it, and perhaps we should have the community, create a competition to find a new mascot that we can all accept and we can all rally around, as all people. (applause)

Millman: Miss Millar?...You're next in line...If you'd rather pass for the moment...

Maureen Millar: It's alright. It's O.K.. I was on the other side of this table the last time that there was a public meeting about this issue. And it was a public meeting in which a lot of people were represented who felt differently than the people who were represented tonight. I thought it was an incredibly illuminating meeting, for many reasons. Um, one of the saddest things about that meeting was it didn't provide the way for two dramatically different points of view to solve a problem, except the classic good guys and bad guys scenario of, and the, any movement forward virtually impossible. So I'm very sympathetic to the complications of this issue on both sides. Um, we have two American Indian students who are enrolled at this school who stood up and spoke eloquently about how they were proud to have that Indian on the wall. And whatever you feel is the history to that statement, it's a statement a kid is making out there live, and I think that has to be heard in a context as well as all the other contexts, that we listen to people's feelings here. So what I'd say to you tonight is that I'm very sympathetic to your, to what's being said. I'm sympathetic to earnest discussion about a way to get through this issue that doesn't continually divide the community. So, any help with that will be very welcome.

Marino D'Orazio: Well, you know, I just feel like everybody's making speeches. That always worries me, because the best speeches are not necessarily the most truthful ones. [Audience: Could you talk louder please?] Sure, I'm sorry. You know I'm, I'm, my gut reaction is that we should not have references to uh, Indians at the high school, especially, uh, in the context of um, you know, being, um, violent warrior-type people, because I think that the history is, um, probably the opposite of that. Um, but be that as it may I'm sure, you know, everybody realizes that. I, I agree with Maureen that it's, it's something that we really need to address and discuss and make, and make a decision once and for, once and for all. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I really have no objection to um changing those names and changing those symbols. Um, but I, but I do realize that there are a whole number of people, and I think when the students were canvassed, the great majority said that they wanted to keep, um, the name. But of course we know that, we know that, you know, the tyranny of the majority sometimes, um, is not the way to go, because, um, if that were the way to do things, then, you know, the ruling class would never, you know, go out of power. [20:00] So I, I guess it's up to us to make a really difficult decision at this point. And like I said, you know, unless someone, and I'm, I'm inviting, you know, we've heard, you know wonderful presentations and very compelling. And philosophically, I wouldn't think twice about changing this, this name. I mean it's, if it's offensive to some people, then, then it shouldn't be used. I mean, I certainly wouldn't want a bunch of black-shirted, um you know, fascist symbols on, on the uh, on the school uh, walls, or you know, Mafiatize, that kind of thing. And, and, you know it's easy for us to say, I feel, you know, empathy for, because, for Indian people, because I don't know what it is to be in that position. But it's, if it offends a whole segment of people, um, and it's not something that has any positive, um, attributes or reason for being, then I don't, you know, I don't have a problem with eliminating that kind of thing.

But I don't think, um, you know, it's an easy thing. You know sometimes people find it difficult to let go of traditions for whatever reasons, and like Maureen said, you know, I'd like to, I'd like to hear someone, you know, talk about what the implications of this are, if any.' And maybe there aren't any real implications. Maybe it's just a decision that needs to be made once and for all, and we should just do it, and that's it, you know, and we'll come up with another, um, way to define ourselves as a district. And that's the way I feel about it.

Joe Vanacore: Well, I've been around here since 1955, graduated our first class in '53, and I came here in '55 with my family. We graduated many thousands of students, of all cultures. Blacks, whites, Indians, you name it, we've graduated them. We never, ever, heard of anyone complaining about those symbols. They've been there, and the students that went through this school were very proud of the school and the symbols. This school doesn't belong to the Indians or the blacks or the whites. This school belongs to the people that built it and paid for it. If they want them symbols off there, put it on the referendum and let them tell us to take them off. They own the school. They should have something to say about it. Millman: In the same effort that the group has come here... I'd like to see a different, uh, on your behalf, to change the Atlanta name of the Atlanta Braves. I'd like to see an effort in the same manner to change the name of the airplane from Piper Cherokee. And when I go out into the parking lot and I look at the Pontiacs out there, and every one of those cars has a Pontiac symbol on it. And I'd like to see the same effort of our number one helicopter in our fleet is called the Apache. And I too am offended by that, and I feel the same way. But I'd like this color group and Mr. Shumway's group over there to reach out to those people at General Motors, and reach out to the rest of the people out there of our government and make there for the change the names up there, just like your asking us to change the names over here.

Millar: I have to disagree. I'm afraid these people made an excellent point this evening about this being an institution of learning. I think that's the critical thing to remember. I don't think we can ask these people...to change...Pontiac...

(interrupted by applause; chaos, several people talking at once)

Audience Member of the group C.O.L.O.R: I have never heard in my life a more ridiculous way to respond to an issue as important as this as to tell our group to take on the United States Army, tell us to take on General Motors. It is absolutely beneath you to make such a proposal! Absolutely ridiculous!

Ras T Ashebar (from audience): Our kids go to this school; we're not concerned with motor car sales, we're concerned with our kids' education. That's our priority.

Hispanic -American from audience with deep accent: If you were to walk into a bank, and the banker thinks because your're white that you stole the money. Have you ever walked into a restaurant, and because you're colored you thought you might not be served, or mistreated? Did you walk in the street thinking, even, if somebody's going to [tell you, are you white?]. Have you thought about that?

Millman: Yes I have.

Same hispanic-American: 15:00 No. Because you in it. It's not something you confront. And you don't have to think about it. Here we have kids that do, and we're not going to trade, as a violent person, when I see in the media also, represented my people as rapists, troublemakers, gang, and that's all it is. You just keeps perpetrating this image. In the school, where the kids go to learn, you're going to perpetrate [ ] an issue to discuss? Let's ask the kids. Did you ask the kids what you're going to teach them?

To change the attitude [on] stereotypes

That is a... you're teaching them!

Millman?: To change the attitude [on stereotypes].

Hispanic-American: Excuse me, I didn't interrupt when you spoke. Did you don't think you're educating them with the images? Yes, you are.

Ashebar: Think of Columbine High School, some kind of message was sent from the school, from outside, from the school.

Hispanic-American: I am deeply offended, deeply offended, even to think because [the Sir ] says that in the '50's, the people who built it didn't talk anything about it. (interrupted) Why will they think about it, less ask them if they want to change it. I pay taxes here. And I have kids in that school. Because I wasn't the one who paid to build that building, you tell me I cannot say anything about it? That's ridiculous. I might not be born in this country, but my culture has been here in this country before your culture came. Did we told you, hey, you cannot build that school in there?

D'Orazio: Can I make a suggestion? Because I think...

Hispanic-American: It's not even a matter of discussion Sir. How we going to put it, 'a discussion?' The little white boys... Why we don't call it the Onteora Little White Boys?" (laughter) You know, make it a rap group.

Marino D'Orazio: I just want to make a suggestion so that we don't, try not to get involved in ______ confrontations, you know. I don't, I don't want to speak for everybody else, but I just want to, everybody sort of to listen to this, and maybe tell... You know, this is a very important issue, OK? I don't want to preach to the public. That's not our job. I'm not any wiser, smarter, more learned, or however you want to define it, than anyone else. All I have here is responsibility to make decisions that come before us, OK? So I think what we need to do is discuss this issue, um, as best we can, and then vote on it. And, and perhaps before we vote on it, we can conduct a public meeting where we can hear from people in the community with respect to the issue. And I don't want to get [sound break to change tapes?] ... our job. Our job is to receive input, to discuss these issues in public, to talk to each other, to try to convince each other, but not to point fingers at people in the audience and to say, you know, why don't you go out and do something else? Well, if they want to do that, that's fine. But they're here now, and they're asking us to do something, and it's our responsibility to deal with that. And that's what we should be doing. We should not be confronting the public during our meetings, because they, the public has been heard during public be heard, and they'll be heard again during another public be heard before we make a decision. I thought that was going to be the way that we were going to conduct business. We got talk to each other. If we want to convince fellow board members to vote our way, we have to talk to each other, but not preach to the public. The public is not people who we have to, you know, educate about anything. They're well educated on their own. So let's just be real careful about that, otherwise it's going to degenerate into something that we do not want. (applause)

Meg Carey: 20:00 There are certain things, Marty, that are just unacceptable, and, I mean, Marino, and to have a discussion about what's the right thing to do when already there are certain, there are certain ethnic groups and language relating to other groups that are completely unacceptable, especially in the school. And then to say to Native Americans who come, "we're going to discuss whether or not we agree with your position..." (scattered applause) ... I think is not right. I think that we are the leaders, and we need to be saying "what is the right thing to be doing?" If a group of people say "this is offensive and derogatory and insulting and that it's not good for my children and it's not good for anyone's children," we are the leaders, and we, to me that's not an issue for us to be discussing, when in fact we should be doing the right thing. (applause)

Vanacore: Why should 5,000 taxpayers to be told what to do with the school people for ten people?

Carey: The taxpayers are not involved in choices of curriculum, in choices of leadership, in choices of the way we structure the school day. There are decisions that belong to the school and there are decisions that belong to the leadership of the school. And for some reason, it seems that for Native Americans, there is more resistance to, to getting rid of negative images and language than for any other group. And I've been reading this lately and it really struck a chord. And each person here seems to have a personal experience. I can talk about the early days of the womens' movement, in which when I was presented with image after image of women and girls in textbooks and in common tradebooks and in literature books which portrayed girls and women in a very stereotypical ways. It was very clear how those images were negatively impacting children in a subconscious way... (applause)

And now we know... and things change. Our consciousness is raised. We are now having our consciousness raised, and some people may be more resistant, that's always the way of change. But there still, I think, is a right way to behave in this situation. (applause)

Rosato: I think that this issue is important enough, since it's here on our agenda, and this board and these board members were asked to comment, and from the heart. If that's preaching, then I'm a preacher. You made a statement, Marino, that I have to disagree with. You said that you're not any wiser, we're not any smarter, we're not any better prepared, and I have to disagree with that also. I think we are. I think we've been hearing about this issue for quite some time now, and I think in discussions and in our readings, we are wiser and smarter, we are more capable now to deal with this issue. I do want to hear from opposing views, I want to hear what others have to say, um, and then perhaps, as the leaders, as Meg stated, um, we might make a decision to bring this to referendum, or we might make a decision to remove these, um, logos and mascots entirely. But I have to say that this is not preaching, that we all have strong feelings, including our President, Mr. Millman, has strong feelings. It's not preaching.

Dorazio: That's not what I was talking about. I wasn't talking about you.

Millman: Hal has something to say.

Hal Rowe: My comments will be very brief. Observation: um, no surprise to anybody that this is a big issue, this is an important issue. And big issues and important issues are characterized by real deep-felt opinions, differences of opinion. We know that there are going to be people on both sides of it. State: the issue isn't who is correct, but the issue is what is correct. And I would underline that. And I think that this Board of Education must make a decision about what it is that we're going to support. But I think the decision needs to be based not on who is correct, but on what is correct. Hold the emotion and the personality out of it. And then, and then finally, a question and, and when I ask a question, and, and answer the question myself, and the question is: who are the symbols for? And uh, and in a public school they should be for all. (applause) I'm suggesting that the Board doesn't act on it this evening. It's too big an issue. But I'm suggesting that it is the responsibility of the Board to, to resolve it...

Millar: 25:00 Well, can we have some kind of agreement about the speed to which we will address this? Could we have a discussion and make some kind of agreement about that tonight so that there will be a public notification of one more public be heard and then we would make a vote? Millman to Rowe: Want to do it at the January 24th. Two weeks from tonight?

Rowe to Millman: Ask your Board Members what they want to do.

Carey: I want to just mention that two years ago Dennis Yerry said that he would be very happy to do an assembly of different sizes for the school as part of the education of students, awareness and consciousness raising of students, and I would like to ask that we take him up on this offer, and that we also in this process do something for the students. [Vanacore speaks off microphone about 'a petition last time with assemblies and the students were against it (against changing the mascot) at all the assemblies...and on the petition']

Carey: I think it's a question of education...I'd be happy to put this on the agenda too.

Millman: For January 24th meeting? Are we all comfortable with the January 24th meeting?

Vanacore: Depends on how big the agenda is.

D'Orazio: I, I think we, we, we we owe it to, uh, to the people who are concerned about this to make a decision about this issue. We definitely should make a decision.

Millman: We're all in agreement. (applause)

D'Orazio: And I'm in favor of, of um, bringing it to a vote at the next meeting. And before we, before we vote on it at the next meeting, you know, I would invite whoever feels that they should share an opinion with us about this decision to, um, you know, to come to the next meeting and be heard. But then at the next meeting, I could make a motion to either remove these symbols or keep them. So that, so that, um, we can, we can um, you know we can take a stand, which is what we need to do.

Millman (To secretary Terry Santonja: Terry, the next meeting is at the high school?

Sontonja: Yes.

Millman: Okay. We'll put it on the agenda for the 24th, two weeks from tonight at the high school, and at that point after discussion we'll make a decision.

Rowe: Now let me check something out with you as board members, it's my understanding that the concern extends beyond the symbol of the savage breaking through the brick wall with a tomahawk to, to the name itself. We've been talking about symbols, and that's that has been the, the image that has, that has symbolized the concern. But my understanding is the concern goes, goes to, to , to, beyond the symbol to changing the name.

Millar: Do we all understand that?

D'Orazio: I heard that...

A board member(referring to symbols): Such as the Tomahawk Dance and...

Millman: Yeah. Indians, tomahawk dance.... yearbook is the Tomahawk Yearbook...things of that nature.

D'Orazio: I, I heard a couple of different concerns. I mean, some, some people in the audience said that they objected to the really, um, to the violent images that we see in our school and on the, um, on the um, stadium. And then someone, someone said, you know, Indians don't only stand for that kind of horrible, you know,but they've also been um, been um, involved in, you know, learning, medicine, the arts and all those things. So one of the, I mean one of the things that came to, you know, to my mind when I heard that would it be OK, and I'm not just saying this, but you know, I really feel it, would it be OK to, you know, keep the name, you know, Onteora Indians, but have, but have, you know, um, and I don't know if this is possible, you know, but have some symbol... (Three or four "No''s.") 30:00 You understand, Meg, you understand what, what I'm, it may not be... It may not be possible. It, if that's not possible, like I said before then, you know, the correct thing may be to eliminate the Ind[ian] but it, you know, there's a couple of different issues. You know, just...

Carey: I'd like to involve thepsych teams in some way in this issue.

Millman: It's a Board issue; it's on the Board agenda, we'revoting in two weeks. [voices; chatter; Meg Carey suggesting a discussion "in terms of 'new ideas'"]

D'Orazio: Meg, I don't think, I think we're past that. We've just got to make a decision. (applause)

Meg: I guess I was already jumping the gun. I was thinking about brainstorming new ideas for logo, mascot... (applause)

Millman: We'll put this on the agenda for two weeks from tonight. We'll entertain the mascot aspect, the Indian aspect, the tomahawk aspect. I think that would be fair to everybody. We will hear both views. I hope in a manner that's professional, not volatile. I would like to take a ten minute break now.


Joe Doan transcript from 1/24/00

"During the past two weeks I've spoken with hundreds of people in the community and I've tried to come to a fair and just conclusion concerning the use of the "Indian" logo and school symbol. The people who I've spoken with are honest, hard working and open-minded. During this period my opinion has changed half-a dozen times, and personally, I'm leaning towards eliminating the name and logo, but I cannot ignore the overwhelming majority opinion of the people I have spoken with not to change the logo or the name of the school.

I therefore would vote not to change the name with the following conditions: that we should cease using the "Indian" logo that offends some of our neighbors, including "Indian" heads, tomahawks, totem poles, and especially the "Indian" on the gymnasium wall.

Is this a fair compromise? I think it is and I'd like to see this issue put behind us, and move on to the more important issues that await us.

I'd also like to expand school curriculum about Native American studies that people have spoken about tonight to insure an accurate understanding of them and (how) our children learn about these things. I know that it's probably something that hasn't been taught in the past and that probably should be. Thank you."

Use it as needed! Tobe

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2000

Donna asked me to post this for comments...maybe other candidates can start from these points for a platform...we need to get moving..I'd say we have a week before the "others" have literature out there (if that long) Donna Boundy

Resident of the area since 1986. Mother of two boys, ages 8 and 12. 7 Member of PTA, served on Parent Council 7 Parent representative, Committee on Special Education 7 Former member, Woodtock Democratic Committee 7 Certified foster parent, Ulster County Dept. of Social Services 7 Masters in Social Work (MSW) 1981 Hunter College, NYC (Honors) 7 20 years in Drug/alcohol Prevention field --counselor and administrator in drug treatment programs 10 years --4 years as school social worker, Student Assistance Counselor --author 4 books on addiction, drug prevention, money disorders etc. * Willpower's Not Enough (HarperCollins) * Cocaine Treatment (W. W. Norton) * Cocaine and Crack (Young Adult book, Enslow Pub) * When Money is the Drug (HarperCollins) --consultant to WNET, Channel 13, Bill Moyers documentary on addiction, Close to Home, wrote accompanying educational materials --Awarded $500,000 grant (through Reelizations, my partnership) 1996 to complete research and produce videos conveying effective relapse prevention strategies for inner-city recovering addicts 7 Producer, educational materials for middle and high school curricula, including dozens of award-winning videos on violence prevention, bullying, teen pregnancy prevention, drug abuse prevention, work readiness, sexual abuse prevention, etc. 7 Founding member of S.T.A.N.D. (Support Tolerance And Nurture Diversity) 7 Member of COLOR, local group advocating for multiculturism/anti-racism 7 Active in community affairs since 1986, including --Woodstock/El Salvador Sister City Project (traveled to El Buen Pastor during war in El Salvador to bring medical/school supplies) --Woodstock Land Conservancy (Zena Cornfield project) --Friends of Maurice Hinchey --Woodstock Arts (project to rebuild Playhouse) ...and many more --Parent Council and fund raising, Woodstock Day School

As a member of the Onteora School Board, my priorities:

7 Preparing Onteora students to live in 21st century (not the 1950s) X Preparing them to live and thrive in a multicultural society X Helping them respond to rapid cultural and societal changes X Insuring cultural competency through OCS curricula, especially re American history: slavery, Native American history, etc

7 Construction/bond issue: For now, make needed repairs only (roofs, etc)

7 Spend 2000-2001 school year clarifying OCS's direction vis a vis X Middle school philosophy; community support for separate middle school X Seek parent participation in development of middle school concept. X Identify what middle school students' true educational needs are

7 Insure that OCS students are being adequately trained in technology X Teacher training re computer use X Establishment of computer labs in every OCS school

7 When plans for new construction are being forumulated: X Make certain school construction decisions translate into real student educational benefits X Include use of new building technologies (solar, etc.) in any new construction projects

7 Year-long district-wide initiative to develop programmatic/educational ideas that help middle and high school students become more engaged/involved. X i.e. develop "small schools within the school" around technology/arts/science/humanities/ etc. as a focus X Investigate the use of internet/distance learning/ community-based internship and mentoring to a much larger degree

7 Supporting students in choosing new mascot to replace "Indian" mascot X Moving the district forward regarding issues raised by mascot debate (support for focus groups, education, etc.)

7 School safety through long-range planning and prevention, not metal detectors, guards and other short-term reactive thinking but rather: X district-wide training and policies about bullying, homophobic taunts X identification of students at risk for violence against self or others; ggressive outreach to their families, community referrals for intervention X formation of school safety teams for long-term planning (identification of risk factors in each particular facility, data- collection, long-range planning to address)

7 Improve Board of Education meetings X Insure openness of and public participation in Board meetings X Enforce rules prohibiting attacks on individuals at meetings X Help insure climate of tolerance; respect for diversity of community

7 Increased staff development, particularly of aides vis a vis X Understanding learning disabilities (if work in special ed classrooms) X Creative approaches to discipline (all aides)

7 Limit/reduce district spending where it is not enhancing student progress

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2000

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