Anderson High debates changing Redskins mascot

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Residents sounded off once again Monday night about possibly changing Anderson High School's controversial Redskins mascot.

Hundreds of parents and students packed into Nagal Middle School to express their concerns about switching or keeping the 100 year old logo.

The name refers to the skin of the people who were historically abused and oppressed by the United States," said Mike Belcore during the committee meeting.

"I'm here tonight because I am saddened and outraged we're even here. That even though the majority of the supposed offended race isn't actually offended by the Redskin name," said a parent.

In February, the school board began discussing the change of the school mascot forming the Anderson High School Branding and Mascot Committee.

One of the concerns about the change is the cost. The committee estimated it would cost around $450,000 to switch logos and uniforms but some say the time is now.

"Costs are already planned associated with any mascot images for the facility. Putting a new Mascot in place would help avoid additional costs," said a former educator at the meeting.

During the discussion some parents and students argued that changing the mascot will erase part of who they are.

"I came here hoping people are still listening to our side cause I think we all know what Red Skin means and a Red Skin is a valiant noble warrior who fights for his community and does what is right." said one of the students on the football team.

The Cincinnati Native American Coalition says the school is doing one thing right by having the discussion.

The Coalition held a separate meeting earlier in day saying why they were opposed to the school using the Red Skin Masot and it's true meaning.

"It's basically institutional racism. What we need to begin talking about is the shame and guilt that most people don't want to talk about," said Guy Jones, the co-founder of the Miami Valley Council For Native Americans.

Several parents and students hope the continued conversations will begin a new chapter for the school. "I would like to say that change is hard but we need to go ahead and be a progressive community and think about the words that we use and how it affects other people," said a parent during the meeting.

The committee says they plan to hold one more meeting before making a decision. A date has not yet been set.

Some parents said they would like to see the mascot name change slated as a ballot issue.

Copyright 2018 WXIX. All rights reserved.