January 2002greenspun.com : LUSENET : Stand : One Thread
January 2002 news
-- Anonymous, January 06, 2002
Can't remember if this was posted here at the time, but I ran across this today:
New team names spell victory! Today the sports moniker game's not about identification, it's about intimidation. Just ask the Raging Drag Queens, the Syphilitic White Missionaries or the Declining Test Scores.
- - - - - - - - - - - - By Susan McCarthy
April 4, 2001 |
HONOLULU (AP) -- A University of Hawaii official has conceded that the school nixed the football team's 77-year-old rainbow logo because of concerns about its homosexual theme ... instead of the Rainbow Warriors, the team will now be known as the Warriors. --Associated Press, July 28, 2000
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HONOLULU -- A Honolulu State College official denied today that the school had nixed the football team's request to change its name from the Fighting Tigers to the Raging Drag Queens.
"It's true a vote was held, and it's true the students overwhelmingly favored Raging Drag Queens," said the official, who asked to be unnamed. "But the name was not submitted through proper nomination channels, so it doesn't count as a request, and neither do most of those others. Properly nominated choices included Tiger Team, Fighting Tigers, Tiger Gladiators, Just Plain Tigers, Savage Geckos, Tiger Tsunami and More Than One Angry Mongoose -- and of those, Fighting Tigers got the most votes."
Fighting Tigers received only four votes, the official conceded. He declined to give totals for Raging Drag Queens or other disallowed names.
"Fighting Tigers is a sucky name," said the football team's spokesman, Vincent Lom. "There are no tigers in Hawaii, and nobody's scared of them. We want a name that speaks of our awesome terrifying might, and in our experience, almost everyone in the league is terrified of homosexuals and cross-dressers, so Raging Drag Queens would be a perfect name for us. Plus, we were hoping we would be allowed to share locker rooms with the cheerleaders."
Lom said that although the team had its heart set on Raging Drag Queens, they would have settled for other disallowed names that did well in student voting, such as the Huge Violent Gays, the Aunt Nancy Men or the Recruiting Squad.
Lom said his personal suggestion for a scary team name, the Drunken Tourists, did not do well in the voting. "I don't know why. It gives me the fear."
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RED FIELD -- Red Field Indian High School officials denied today that the school's football team had changed its name from the Mighty Bobcats to the Syphilitic White Missionaries, but a student body representative appeared on local cable news holding a banner with that name in block letters.
Knute Rock Deer, student body president and wide receiver, told newscaster Jay Johnson, "We know what chills the blood and it ain't bobcats."
Johnson asked Rock Deer how students could defend the use of a stereotyped image of Caucasians. "The team names of the Braves and the Indians are stereotypes about scary Indians," replied Rock Deer. "How is Syphilitic White Missionaries any different?"
Rock Deer noted that in the 1970s Stanford University changed its team name from the Indians. Though students voted to rename the team the Robber Barons, the administration insisted on the Cardinals or, later, the Cardinal, a shade of red. "How scary is that? A color? Excuse me?" asked Rock Deer. "They should've gone with Robber Barons."
"But how can Native American students identify with syph -- with such a name?" Johnson asked. Rock Deer replied, "It's not about identification, it's about intimidation."
A group of Red Field cheerleaders and spirit mascots performed a skit depicting the impact of syphilitic white missionaries on peace-loving indigenous peoples. The camera quickly cut away from the skit to focus on newscaster Johnson, who attested, "That is one scary team concept. It left me weak-kneed and shuddering."
"At first we actually picked Forked-Tongued Landrapers, but we weren't sure people would get it," Rock Deer said. "Same with Clueless Wannabe Culture Thieves."
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SPRINGFIELD -- The National American United States High School Football Hall of Fame denied that any plaques or trophies have gone out with unapproved team names such as Syphilitic White Missionaries, Steroid-Crazed Monsters or Lady Steroid-Crazed Monsters.
The Hall of Fame says it has been deluged with requests for team name changes, some of which officials suspect may not have been authorized by school administrations. Hall officials say all name changes will be "carefully scrutinized."
In apparent gestures of solidarity with embattled students at Oklahoma's Red Field Indian High School, where students were suspended en masse after attending a football game against rival Pleasant Valley Pioneers wearing T-shirts captioned "Tremble Before the Syphilitic White Missionaries," students across the country have been moving to rename teams after "things that really intimidate," in the words of the valedictorian of one inner-city high school.
"Eagles aren't scary," said Winsocki Buckles of St. Euphemia High School. "Losing the roof over your head is scary, which is why kids at City renamed their team the Slumlords. Stallions aren't scary. Losing your kids is scary, which is why the students at Eastside renamed their team the Arrogant Social Workers. Longhorn cattle aren't scary. Being excluded from the dominant culture is scary, which is why the kids at Prep renamed their team the Ice People.
"Also, religious oppression is scary, which is why we at St. Euphemia renamed our team the Braindead Zombie Protestant Fundamentalist Backlash. We mostly play other Catholic schools and we're pretty confident that will have them shaking in their soggy diapers, the big old babies."
Buckles added that many of her best friends are Protestants. "Try to understand, this is about football. This is about winning."
"We're going to be checking these name change requests for months," said a weary Hall of Fame staffer who asked not to be named. "I'm pretty sure no administrator approved the Yuppie Creeps, but how about the Entrenched Bureaucracy? It's a Washington-area high school, so that could be real, right? I thought the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was a joke name when I first heard it, so how can I be sure about the Elbow River Fire Ants? I don't think it's even legal to call a team the Disgruntled Postal Workers."
"And look at this," added the employee despairingly. "First we got this request from the Battling Bearcats at Flatland High who have a longstanding rivalry with the Pirate Crew at Hilltop High to change their name to the Declining Test Scores. They crushed the thoroughly terrorized Pirate Crew in the big game, but the Pirates struck back by requesting a name change to the Crumbling Physical Plant Plus Your Principal Smokes Crack."
"Turns out neither name change was authorized, but a temp had already sent out the trophy with Declining Test Scores on it. We engraved a new trophy that said Battling Bearcats, but Hilltop High is naming us in a lawsuit for inflicting loss of school spirit."
"Now, look. Look at this. Here's a new request. What I am I supposed to do, call the principal at Flatland and ask, 'Are you really the Flatland High School Thought Police?'"
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About the writer Susan McCarthy is a San Francisco freelance writer and the author, with Jeffrey Masson, of "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals."
-- Anonymous, January 06, 2002
News Release January 9, 2002
The Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments today PASSED a resolution asking Washington's National Football League team to STOP the use of "redskins" as their team name. The vote was 10 in favor, 2 opposed. Five Board members abstained.
In addressing the resolution which she introduced, Board Chair Carol Schwartz spoke in emotional tones about the reasoning behind the resolution. Quoting from a March 1992 Washington Post editorial about the use of "redskins," Schwartz called the name degrading, derogatory and a racial insult.
For additional information contact:
Gerald Pressman, Director Find Another Name
Web: FindAnotherName.com email: UnfairName@aol.com
-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002
Power is a big part of racism By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Thursday, January 10, 2002
"Black people cannot be racist."
It's been maybe 20 years since the first time I heard some member of the black intelligentsia say that on an afternoon talk show. Naturally, all hell broke loose.
Years later, all hell still awaits repair.
I base that assessment on the response to something I did in a recent column. Namely, I defined racism as "this practice of demeaning and denying based on the darkness of skin."
Man, what'd I want to go and say that for? The flood of letters has been unrelenting, dozens of aggrieved Caucasians wanting your poor, benighted correspondent to know that racism, thank you very much, is also felt by those whose skin is not dark at all. Several folks figured I must be one'a them black folk who considers black folk incapable of racism. One individual went so far as to contend that yours truly, like most blacks, hasn't a clue what racism really is.
Well, golly, where to begin?
First, my take on the "blacks can't be racist" argument: Unassailable logic, unfortunate rhetoric.
People who make that argument reason as follows: Yes, blacks can be prejudiced or bigoted, but not "racist" because racism involves systemic oppression — the wielding of power. As blacks neither wield power nor control the system, the reasoning goes, it's beyond their ability to be racist.
I get impatient with people who make the argument in those terms, terms that seem, frankly, calibrated to produce more confrontation than insight. Most people who hear the point framed in that way are, understandably, unable to get past those first inflammatory words: "Blacks can't be racist."
So let's frame it another way. Let's allow that black folks can, indeed, be racist. Or prejudiced, intolerant, biased, bigoted or any other word that floats your boat. Black people are, after all, members of the human race and, as such, are heir to all the idiocy by which human beings are beset.
But with that established, let's also say this: It's an affront to common sense to suggest there is equivalence between black-on-white bigotry and its opposite. This is the point the black intelligentsia's rhetoric has obscured and people like my correspondents have denied, avoided and ignored. As an aggregate, bigoted blacks have much less power to injure whites than vice versa. They also have less history of doing so. These are incontrovertible facts that render hollow the yowling demands that the racism of blacks be accorded a place in the national consciousness commensurate with that of white people.
Hey, when you find a black bigot, feel free to censure and ostracize him or her as the circumstance warrants. I don't care. Just don't pretend the transgression is what it is not. Don't claim it represents a significant threat to the quality of life of white Americans at large.
Because if it represents such a threat, then where are the statistics demonstrating how black bias against whites translates to the mass denial of housing, bank loans, education, employment opportunities, voting rights, medical care or justice? And please, spare me the anecdote about Jane, who couldn't get into school, or Joe, who lost his job, because of affirmative action.
Not the same. Not even close. There are, in fact, reams of statistics documenting that racism has fostered generation after generation of Joes and Janes — not to mention Jamillas, Rasheeds and Keshias — in the African-American community. And those numbers come not from the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, the Congressional Black Caucus or any other group with an ax to grind but, rather, from the federal government and from university think tanks. Yet even with those bona fides, some people find evidence of white racism's power dishearteningly easy to ignore.
They have to, I suppose. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to continue pretending an equivalency that does not exist. And somewhere inside, even THEY must recognize that fact.
Put it like this: If given the option of going through life as a white man suffering the effects of black racism or the reverse, I know which one I'd choose.
I bet every one of my correspondents does, too.
-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002
Hate articles surface anew...This time at the 2nd annual Martin Luther King Dance recital by the Janine Williams Youth Dance Company, held yesterday at the Bearsville Theatre, cars were leafleted with virulent anti-black and ant-semitic literature...It's from the National Alliance, with contact numbers listed in West Virginia and New Jersey. I guess the local bigots are scared to put their own names on it. Tobe
-- Anonymous, January 22, 2002
They hit Rosendale too, where Don Byron (see Woodstock Times front cover article this past week) was playing at the Rosendale Cafe.
Tim es Herald Record 1/23 article
Racist flyers irk town by Alan Snel
Rosendale – On a day designated to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., white supremacist fliers were left on cars parked at a popular restaurant hosting a black musician and at a local movie theater Monday night on Main Street. Rosendale Supervisor Phil Terpening said he received four calls from people upset about the three-page flier distributed by an organization called the National Alliance, a West Virginia-based neo- Nazi group "organizing White men and women into an effective force for taking back our world." The first page shows a girl with the message, "Missing, A future for white children." "There will be no future for her in the Third World America that our nation's enemies are planning," the front page says. The second page shows two National Alliance members. "I joined the National Alliance because I want my children to grow up in a clean, healthy, White world, where they won't be a minority," said Brandi Hesse, a housewife and mother. The last page criticizes "the power of the Israel Lobby" and said it's, "Time to cut off Israel!" The flier includes an address, phone number and two Web sites. "I was appalled," Terpening said. "It's terrible stuff." Customers at the Rosendale Café and the Rosendale Theater found the fliers Monday when they returned to their cars. Mark Morganstern, one of the café owners, was especially upset because a black musician, Don Byron, played at the cafe. "You hear about it. It's a whole other thing to see it," said Susan Dorsey, who is married to Morganstern and also is a restaurant owner. "It wasn't something I would expect here in Rosendale," added cook Ane Tarp. A state investigator was in Rosendale yesterday and there's a chance the same flier was left in Woodstock, state police said. Formed in 1974, the National Alliance was founded by William Pierce. "We must have no non-whites in our living space," its Web site says. A recorded message by Pierce greets callers. He says the group is upset about "out-of-control immigration" and "Jewish monopoly of the mass media." Terpening doesn't know why Rosendale was singled out. "Rosendale is a fairly liberal place,'' he said. "Maybe they figured they'd get the greatest reaction here. As demonstrated by the responses, people of Rosendale don't approve of this."
-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002
American Association of Administrators September 2001 newsletter covers ways that school administrators can handle the mascot issue.
More Than a Mascot
School systems cope with emotional debate over removal of long-held Indian names and logos BY PAUL RIEDE
Football season opened at New Jersey's Parsippany High School last fall in typical, rousing style. The team dashed onto the field, one player wielding a long stick festooned with feathers. After a quick huddle at the 50-yard line, the team ran to the sidelines, where the chosen player drove the stick-a replica of a Native American eagle feather staff-into the ground. A cheerleader in a headdress exhorted the fans to cheer for their Redskins.
This fall will be different. The decorated staff and other Redskin memorabilia will be stored in a display case inside the school. Outside, fans will be asked to root for the Parsippany Red Hawks, a new mascot honoring the red-tailed hawk native to their state.
After a series of sometimes painful, time-consuming deliberations similar to those that have taken place at dozens of other schools across the country in the past few years, the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District forced its Redskins team name, mascot and logo into retirement last spring. With it went 45 years of school tradition and nearly a decade of ambivalence about the name.
The day after Superintendent Eugene Vasile announced the change, 50 of the school's 875 students walked out in protest. The next school board meeting drew 100 parents, students and alumni, most of them furious about the change. The reaction was so strong that after more than an hour of fiery debate, the school board felt moved to hold a vote of confidence for Vasile. It passed 8-1.
A Divisive Issue Vasile and his school board got off comparatively lightly. In other school districts the debate over Native American mascots has torn communities and school boards apart, diverting time, money and energy away from issues related to student achievement. Administrators spend months fending off angry alumni, calming students and dealing with the news media. After it's all over, the district often must spend additional time and energy healing the wounds and community ruptures the debate has left in its wake.
The issue has simmered in many districts for a decade or more, heating up from time to time when a group or an individual complains. But it is such an emotional matter, with such a huge potential downside for a principal, a superintendent or a school board, that few willingly jump into the fray.
"It puts the administrator in a very, very, very awkward position," says Peggy Ekedahl, superintendent in Milton, Wis.
"You could lose your job," says J.R. Hartley, former superintendent in Huntley, Ill. "If you're in weak position, you have to be careful about the timing of when this comes up."
School boards in districts as large as Dallas and Los Angeles have banned the use of Native American mascots. But it is often in smaller, rural districts, where traditions run deep, that the issue is most difficult.
In the Onteora schools in New York's Catskills, a board decision in January 2000 to retire the Indians nickname deepened a split between old-line, rural alumni and more liberal residents in Woodstock. Superintendent Hal Rowe survived a petition calling for his firing, but two board members were forced out five months after the decision in a divisive election dominated by the mascot issue. The Indians nickname was reinstated by the new board.
In Huntley, 45 miles northwest of Chicago, the school board, fueled by furious community resentment, beat back attempts last year to retire its Redskins team name despite the threat of a lawsuit from the Illinois Native American Bar Association. Hartley, who retired in June, spent months trying to resolve the matter while struggling to hold the school community together. "I've been scolded at church. I've been scolded in the community," he says. "It's been traumatic."
In Milton, Wis., a 2,800-student district 45 miles southeast of Madison, angry residents forced a special election two years ago to recall three board members who had voted to drop the high school's Redmen nickname and logo. The recall failed, but the special election cost the district nearly $7,000, and the wounds in the community are still healing.
"We often mentioned throughout the process that we wished that kind of attention could be focused on instructional issues," Ekedahl says.
Executive Decisions The debate came to the fore in many school districts in April after the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a statement urging schools to drop Native American team names. The statement condemned such names, logos and mascots as "false portrayals [that] encourage biases and prejudices that have a negative effect on contemporary Indian people."
That same month, New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills issued his own statement, calling on schools statewide to re-evaluate the use of Native American names and symbols, which he said "can become a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community and improving academic achievement for all students."
Neither statement has the force of law, although Mills said he would evaluate districts' progress on the issue next year. But the public calls have added to the chorus of condemnations by groups such as the National Education Association, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, and they carry at least the implicit threat of eventual legal action.
The official statements have come as a welcome relief in some school settings. Most of the time, school leaders find themselves stuck in the middle, caught between a vocal individual or group demanding change and a majority of students and residents who cherish their traditions. In Afton, a district near Binghamton, N.Y., the school board voted to do away with its Indians team name a week after Mills' proclamation.
"When the word comes down from somebody else that you can't use the Indian mascot, it kind of becomes easier. We're doing away with it because we were told to," Superintendent Vernice Church says. "As long as it's an outside force that's doing it to us, the board feels safe."
In Parsippany, N.J., Richard Konet, the high school principal, says while his superintendent argued the issue in terms of sensitivity to minority groups, "I took the lower road. I just told people that when the [Office for Civil Rights] speaks, the next thing you're going to see is some kind of legal action."
Others have been less pleased with the outside intervention. Timothy Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, says Mills is entitled to his opinion but should not intrude in local control of school matters.
Walter Doherty, superintendent of the Central Square School District near Syracuse, N.Y., which boasts a large "Home of the Redmen" banner on the high school's front lawn, says that despite Mills' statement, the mascot matter is "not an issue" in his district. Students held an exit poll during the district's budget vote in May in which 76 percent favored maintaining the team name. Because of that poll and the lack of any complaints, Doherty says, the district has no plans to retire the Redmen.
Legal Pressure But opponents of Native American mascots say this is a civil rights issue, not a political correctness contest to be decided by majority opinion. The U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division already has entered the debate, initiating an investigation three years ago of the Buncombe County, N.C., district's use of Warriors and Squaws for its boys' and girls' teams. The investigation ended in the spring of 1999 when the district agreed to drop the Squaws name, which is particularly offensive to Native American groups because of its sexist, derogatory meaning.
In Wisconsin, the Appellate Court in 1998 upheld a decision by the Department of Public Instruction that an Indian team name and logo did not violate a statute prohibiting discrimination against students based on race, ancestry or national origin.
Nonetheless, Matthew Beaudet, president of the Illinois Native American Bar Association, a group of 30 Native American attorneys, says he believes civil rights cases, such as the one his group is threatening in Huntley, can be successful. The plaintiffs would have to prove that the use of the team name or mascot creates a discriminatory or racially hostile environment in schools. He points to the Office for Civil Rights statement, which says the use of stereotypical images "has the potential" to create such a climate.
"It's like having a black-face show at work," Beaudet says. "You'd probably be sued by some African-Americans. This is a red-face show."
Some school traditions can unknowingly step on religious and cultural beliefs. The eagle feather staff used in Parsippany was a replica of an object that in Native American culture can only be handled by those chosen by a tribal elder, explains Vasile, the district superintendent. "What we had was youngsters using an eagle feather staff as a prop."
Misguided Honor Beaudet says he believes the mascot issue is getting attention now because the national civil rights movement is finally getting around to Native American issues, and because growing numbers of Native American professionals and lawyers are speaking up. His group maintains the mascots can have a direct, negative impact on Native American students, a group already suffering from low self-esteem and high suicide rates.
"Their pride is being mocked," he says. "It is in fact very harmful. … It's teaching kids to look at a group in a certain way, and they carry it into adulthood."
The argument made by many supporters that the mascots are intended to honor Native Americans simply doesn't wash, Beaudet says. "We just say we're not honored by it. That should carry some weight. The Native community is saying we know you're trying to flatter us, but we're not flattered, so stop."
In a few instances, however, Native Americans have embraced the mascots as an honor. The Seneca Nation of Indians has supported the Warriors nickname used in the Salamanca school district in western New York. But Salamanca is unique because most of the city lies on Indian land and the city has a close, ongoing relationship with the Senecas.
In Littleton, Colo., Arapahoe High School received a blessing from the Arapaho Nation based in Wyoming to continue using its Warriors team name and logo. (See A Singular Journey.) The high school offers educational programs to increase understanding of Native American culture. (The school and Indian nation spell the name differently.)
Beaudet says he recognizes the tight spot many superintendents are finding themselves in over the issue. "It's a real bad hot potato politically, but they're in a tough job, and part of the job is making unpopular decisions."
In Huntley, Ill., where Beaudet says his group will file legal action unless the district agrees to changes, the issue gnaws at longtime residents who have seen too much change in the past few decades. The outer-ring Chicago suburb is evolving from a slow-moving rural town to a bustling community. Its enrollment, now 4,000, has quadrupled in seven years and is continuing its rapid growth.
"One of the few remnants they have of a pleasant past is their mascot," says Hartley, superintendent from 1994 through this past June. "And now we're trying to take that away from them."
The school board not only has resisted attempts to change the mascot, it has moved in the other direction. Last April it voted 4-3 to extend the Redskins name to the middle school and affirmed that fans should not be restricted from celebrating the name as they see fit. "Every time we try to step forward on this we slip back," Hartley says, adding that most administrators favor changing the mascot.
"We are trying to teach our students to honor and respect diversity," he says. "If you're doing things that offend people, what are you teaching them?"
The superintendent also wants the issue resolved and the wounds healed before the next building referendum comes up in 2002. Besides the political fallout, a legal fight over the issue could cost the district between $5,000 and $25,000.
Phasing Out So what is a school leader to do when the use of a long-time school mascot is challenged? Many have taken a cautious approach, avoiding a full-blown confrontation but moving gradually to reduce the costs- both economic and emotional-of a potential change. Even in Central Square, N.Y., where the Redmen reign supreme, the district has been phasing out items bearing the team name or Indian head logo as they need to be replaced. They include uniforms, school ID cards, district checks and other paraphernalia. That way, if the district is ever forced to make a switch, the expense will be reduced. "We're just looking down the road," says Doherty, the superintendent. Ninety minutes south in Afton, Superintendent Church quietly removed the logo from the district's letterhead when she arrived in 1992, nine years before the team name was retired. When the gym floor was sanded, the Indian head painted at midcourt disappeared. "I just had them paint a big fancy Gothic A," she says.
When the issue does reach the front burner, Hartley advises school leaders to "get into it and get out of it as quickly as you can because it can affect other issues. … We really can't afford to split our supporters in the community."
Stephen Rosenthal, superintendent of the Shoreline Unified School District in Tomales, Calif., has some advice of his own. He became a lightning rod in his district last year when he agreed to work with two students to resolve a debate about the high school's Braves team name that had been simmering for the previous three years. Despite a student council poll that found most students wanted no change, he worked with the students, who wanted to bring the matter to the school board. Their presentation was so successful that the board voted 4-2 last February to retire the name. The next day, sign- carrying, pro-mascot students walked out of the school.
The reaction from the greater community was "very active and very hot," Rosenthal says. A petition was circulated calling for the high school principal's resignation. The surprised board scheduled a special public meeting in March that brought out 400 people-an enormous crowd for the 800-student district. The board backpedaled, voting 5-2 to keep the Braves name but to retire the Indian head logo, which some had objected to partly because it depicted a Plains Indian, a culture quite different from the local Miwoks.
"What we're trying to do now in essence is talk about the character of a Brave rather than about the people," Rosenthal says.
That somewhat strained compromise calmed things to a degree by the end of the school year, and Rosenthal said the discussion had been beneficial in some ways. "Other than the heatedness of it, it was a very strong discussion that needed to happen in this neck of the woods. The whole notion of tolerance came in, the notion of prejudice. How are we treating people? How are we treating diversity? How do you deal with minority opinions? All this stuff that schools are struggling with."
Voice of Experience Like other leaders caught up in the mascot issue, Rosenthal had to learn as he went along and now sees things he wished had gone differently. He offered a few tips for school leaders who have yet to confront the issue:
* Just because you don't have a lot of people coming to your board meetings, don't think they don't care. The board's initial vote to retire the mascot in the Shoreline district drew the usual handful of people. The follow-up meeting drew 400.
* Inform and gather the opinions of your support groups early. Rosenthal and other school leaders didn't inform the district's booster club directly about their plans. "Had we talked to them first, brought them into the loop, it might have had a different outcome."
* As superintendent, deal with the media and phone calls yourself as much as possible, even if it takes up most of your time for weeks. Take the heat and let others focus on educating children.
* Particularly in smaller districts, polish up on meeting procedures and get logistical help from outside before holding what is likely to be a large, emotional meeting. "You better have your Roberts Rules right in order."
* Trust your students. "When the news media came in and interviewed students, or when students met to discuss the mascot issue, the kids carried themselves well, sometimes with more dignity than the adults."
* "When it's over, don't think it's over." Rifts in the community and the school board are likely to linger. Near the end of the school year, Rosenthal's board held a special meeting with a facilitator to try to heal some of the wounds.
Paul Riede is an education writer with The Syracuse Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y. E-mail: priede@s...
-- Anonymous, February 07, 2002
Sound familiar? http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/news/stories/20020212/localnews/163 3673.html
Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Marshall votes to do away with nickname Redskins no more By Chris Springsteen The Enquirer
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- MARSHALL -- The class of 2002 at Marshall High School will be the last to graduate under the nickname "Redskins." The looming threat of a recall did not stop the Marshall Board of Education from retiring the nickname in a 5-2 vote Monday night. Board members Robert Lyng and Jeffery Albaugh, two members of the board not named in the recall petition, cast dissenting votes.
"A couple of things have become clear to me," said Steven Rhodes, a Marshall school board member who made the motion to change the name at Monday's meeting. "One is that this seems to be one of those situations where we are not going to satisfy everybody. I accept that and am willing to live with that. Something else that seems to have become clear is that even if we don't intend to offend others, once somebody has told us we are offending him, we have some degree of obligation to address that."
Along with the motion to change the name, Rhodes also introduced motions to have the school's administration determine the process and timeline for retiring the nickname and the process for having Marshall's high school and some middle school students create a new nickname for the school. Both motions passed 5-2 with Lyng and Albaugh voting against them.
"I can't support this change," Albaugh said. "As someone in the community said to me the other day 'I wish our nickname and our logo were a 70-year-old structure in our community because it would probably be protected if it was in the right district.' But it's not, it's not going to be protected and I just think the action we're taking tonight is a sad day for us and I will not be supporting it."
While the nickname will be retired at the end of this school year, there is no timeline set at this point for determining how it will be retired or when a new nickname will be chosen.
Most of the members of the school board agreed it should be completed by the end of the school year so the school will not be without a nickname, but Lyng proposed that everything be pushed back until the end of the 2002-2003 school year.
"The time frame is not reasonable," Lyng said. "It took us a year to get to this point and it looks like we're trying to sweep this under the table."
Sam Ramon, a member of the Save the Redskins committee, also asked that the board push back any kind of decision on how the name change will happen until the recall his group is organizing is completed, a process that could take up to four months. He said that all of the board's work will be for nothing once they are recalled and the new board changes the nickname back to "Redskins."
Members of the board opted to go ahead with plans rather than wait for the recall process to run its course, however. Rhodes, Craig Carrel, Georgia Marsh and John Harlow are the members the group is attempting to recall.
"I think we still need to move ahead with the process, because this board is still the elected board, as I understand it," Carrel said. "A recall can go forward and has the right to go forward, but I think an assumption is being made that the recall will be successful. I think we need to move forward and that needs to be a consideration of people who are going to vote for a recall. I don't think we should slow the process of retiring the nickname and finding a new one."
Robert Currie, superintendent of Marshall Public Schools, agreed that the process should be a quick one.
"I just don't see the process of changing nicknames transcending school years," he said.
One of the main arguments from the people of Marshall that are not in favor of changing the name is that the people that are being offended by the "Redskins" are outsiders and not from Marshall, an argument that disturbs Marsh.
"I've been concerned with people talking about outsiders disrupting our community," she said. "Because of the way schools are funded now, everyone who lives in the state and buys products in the state support our schools, all of the tourists that buy things in this state support our schools. We can't be an isolated little island, we are all in this together.
"I wish there was a magic wand that would bring our community back together, but there isn't. The only thing that we can promise is that change is part of life. We live in the present and the future -- not the past."
Chris Springsteen can be reached at 966-0676 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002
testing, testing 123 Greenspun has software that ddisables dead boards, so we should post a little something here occasionally to keep the board going.
Stand Board still OK
Who's running for the Onteora board? Or shall we let Joe Doan back?
-- Anonymous, March 03, 2003
Saw a teenage angst cheerleader movie on TV recently with a rather pointed yet subtly inserted mascot comment. The high school in Compton (as in "straight outta...") that was the rival team was entirely students of color -- black, Hispanic, Asian. Yet their team name was The Clovers, with a 4 leaf clover symbol and a hideously warped leprechaun capering about as team mascot.
-- Anonymous, March 30, 2003