Week of April 15

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Week of April 15

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001


Middletown Times Herald-Record, Onteora's "official" newspaper of record, posts an April 9, 2001 editorial against Indian mascots.


"New mascots" editorial:

"Take a moment from your busy schedules to reflect about something. Throughout the course of an average day, how many American Indians do you meet? We're not talking about the mascots in local high schools like Port Jervis, Liberty, Onteora or Minisink Valley. Just the living American Indians you may see walking down the street, in a classroom or at your workplace. We would guess you don't meet that many, which, of course, is not the way it used to be on this continent. That's one of the truly sad aspects of our history that most people don't usually take the time to think about. Probably because an attempt at genocide on American soil is nothing to be proud of. But why, hundreds of years later, do we further dishonor a group of people by plastering schools (of all places) with images that mock their culture? Are we still not sorry enough for past actions to do away with mascots such as "Chiefs," "Indians," "Warriors" and "Raiders"? Do we still not have enough compassion for American Indians to teach their history in schools instead of perpetuating stereotypes? Is it because there are not enough of them around to complain? This isn't something that should bother only American Indians. It should bother anyone who believes in civility. State Education Commissioner Richard Mills is taking steps to end the insult. "I have concluded that the use of Native American symbols or depictions as mascots can become a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community and improving academic achievement for all students," the commissioner said in a letter to public schools last week. He asked superintendents and school boards to re-evaluate their use of American Indian mascots. He said he'd check back on their progress in a year. He didn't need to add, "We know who you are." Good for Mills. There needs to be a collaborative effort by school leaders to not disrespect the people who originally inhabited this land and their descendants. Schools that still use Indian symbols can find other worthy substitutes for mascots. Many schools already have. This is not a matter of political correctness. It is correctness, pure and simple. Mills is on the right track. Others need to follow.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001

I can't wait until the elction is over to speak up again!!


-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001

Meanwhile, April 20 is Hitler's birthday, you could swing down to the house in Stone Ridge of that prison guard who flew the Nazi flag and see if anyone we know is celebrating there.

BTW, I'll be away several days this week for the NY antiquarian book fair, don't expect timely responses.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001

have fun in NY T.

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2001

Lucia is planning to hold an evening at the White Buffalo place on May 3 (7 PM? not sure, she told me this @ the library sale) to show "In Whose Honor" and report back on the Cincinatti conference.

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2001

Speak of the devil -- Nazi Kuhnel has been charged with sodomizing a prisoner Guess it won't be a very happy Hitler's birthday for the little feller.

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

Truth is truley stranger than fiction.

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

I tell you, this needs to be a movie-of-the-week. I think we need to revive that idea we had last year of a week in a rented house with a jacuzzi, to work up a screenplay. Can we get Dwayne Hickman cast as Jim? Though who is going to believe that a gay Nazi is Fred's friend? :)

www.onteora.net is now open for partisan business.

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2001

Can Meg make an amendment to a proposed referendum on the Indian issue to make sure the voters realize that they are approving defiance of state and federal recommendations and jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funding? Do we have any numbers to use as to what percentage it would raise taxes?

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2001

The following is a press release I am readying for the beginning of next week. Please correct, etc. so I can get this in final form. Thanks, Tobe

S.O.S. Support Onteora Schools www.onteora.net sosocs@yahoo.com

Immediate Release April 22, 2001

S.O.S. Support Onteora Schools announces the availability of its web site on the internet at www.onteora.net. The web site features biographical materials and statements by candidates for the Onteora Board of Education, Meg Carey and Tom Rosato.

The site also features an "Ask the Candidates" section, where questions can be posed to either or both candidates. Answers will be posted online.

Additional sections will highlight a recent history of the Board of Education and a recap of promotional materials from our FOCUS on EDUCATION series carried in the local press.

We invite all voters in the Onteora District to visit our web site at www.onteora.net for relevant information on isues and candidates to help them decide how to cast their vote on election day, May 15th.


-- Anonymous, April 18, 2001

Now that those jerks have put the mascot referendum on the May 15 ballot, does it make sense to release news of the lawsuits before the election?

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2001

I asked Charles about this and he cautioned against it...so, we should follow his advice.

PS Freeman article nails Perry et al for defying the State Ed dept. Again! Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2001

News article about another district doing the right thing...modeled their policy on the former Onteoar policy...


Wednesday, April 18, 2001 Montgomery County sets 2003 deadline Board: School's mascot must go

The policy prohibits any race, religion, ethnicity or nationality as a mascot or logo at any school in the district.

By JILL HOFFMAN The Roanoke Times

Send This Story To A Friend.

The Montgomery County School Board voted to approve a policy that prohibits any race, religion, ethnicity or nationality as a mascot or logo in the district, and gives schools until July 1, 2003, to comply.

Board members voted 5-2 at a meeting Tuesday night to endorse the new rule, which will effectively eliminate the Blacksburg High School Indian mascot.

The action came after a year of rancorous debate between mascot supporters, who want to preserve the school's history and heritage, and opponents, who believe the symbol perpetuates a stereotype and is offensive. Members of the Unified Coalition for American Indian Concerns first asked the board to drop the mascot in October 1999.

A second policy that would have permitted the Indian name to stay at Blacksburg High but would have banned displays of Indian artifacts, symbols or images became irrelevant with the other policy, and the board didn't take action on it.

Each board member gave a brief explanation for his or her decision. Most were reiterating the positions they had held for some time.

Board member Mary Hayne North said sometimes elected officials have to make tough decisions. She said she has never made a decision based on popular opinion, although the board received pressure from people who threatened to vote them out of office if they removed the mascot.

And while Americans live in a democratic society, they operate within a republican form of government, said board Chairman Wat Hopkins.

"My constituency elects me to do what I think is best because I often have information they don't," Hopkins said.

Board Vice Chairwoman Tina McPherson said she struggled with her decision emotionally and spiritually. Her most compelling reason for eliminating the mascot came from George Whitewolf, a member of the Monacan Nation's tribal council. She recalled that he told the board, "If you are wanting to honor me, why didn't you allow me in your schools ... at a point in time when you chose my people as a mascot."

All along, board member Penny Franklin has strongly maintained that the mascot should go. She said her reasons stemmed from inequalities she has observed in the school system. Committees such as the district's Diversity Forum have worked to bridge those gaps. "For us to say we're working with diversity in the school system ... then to not adopt a policy that would eliminate stereotyping of a race of people would be a slap in the face to other minorities in this county that have been working with the diversity forum," she said.

Board members Jim Klagge and Mike Smith opposed the motion, saying they wanted to uphold the vote by a task force of school and community members that voted in January to retain the symbol. Smith said the district has all the policies it needs and "We don't need to deal with this."

However, the issue wouldn't go away if officials didn't take action, according to board member Tacy Newell.

The board debated about how long to give schools to comply with the new policy. A motion to allow schools until July 1, 2004, was defeated.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2001

Dobie Gillis?? Please explain as I resemble that remark!

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2001

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