School under pressure to change mascot - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

School under pressure to change mascot

By Dan Wells - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

EDGEWOOD, KY (FOX19) - One Kenton County school is coming under pressure to adopt a new, more 'politically correct' identity.

Parents, teachers and staff at Turkeyfoot Middle School on Turkeyfoot Road in Edgewood are talking about renaming the school and its mascot, the Indian. Students and staff move into a new building next year, and say now is the time to make a clean break with a mascot that some call derogatory. 

"If you look at the caricature of the warrior, the warrior is wearing a religious war bonnet," said parent Dianna Long. "What if we had similar mascots and we had the popes and cardinal hat running around. It's just wrong."

Now, some in the Native American Community have also voiced concerns that the school's current name and mascot lack sensitivity and respect.

So with all of that said, school administrators are now addressing the issue.

"We've had some folks enquire within the last couple of months about the possibility of looking into maybe changing the name of our new school and possibility changing the mascot of our new school," said principal Tom Arnzen.

At a public forum, the community seemed divided on the issue.

"I like the name Turkeyfoot, the mascot being the Indians," said parent Gail Barnhill. "I think its cool. I think it shows school pride, and we're on Turkeyfoot Road."

"There's going to be a lot of cost that I don't think that anybody has looked at," said parent Mark Estenfelder. "With the uniforms, they've got a football team, cheerleaders and they are a cost. I would say it's going to be passed down to the parents."

The school's principal says nothing is set in stone.

"This is really the beginning of a process but we just want at the end of the day no matter what decision is made, we want people to feel like they have been heard," said Arnzen.

The final decision will have to be made by the Kenton County Board of Education.

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