ANDERSON TWP., Ohio (FOX19) - The Forest Hills School District Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the future of Anderson High School’s Redskins mascot.
Superintendent Scot Prebles announced the meeting in a message to Forest Hills families and staff members on June 18. He said in recent weeks the district has reviewed “hundreds of messages” on the mascot and reflected on “significant conversations taking place in our school district, its community and around the country.”
Prebles continued: “It’s vitally important that all of our schools and school grounds are welcoming, safe and inclusive spaces for students, staff and community members. We continuously strive to do better, listen more and move forward in our collective purpose to empower every student every day.”
The mascot has been controversial for decades.
Those in favor of removing it say they want to get rid of the name ‘Redskins’ and all associated images because it’s dehumanizing. They say it’s a demeaning representation of the indigenous Native American identity and does not reflect the values of their community.
Tony Henson, board member of the Native American Guardian’s Association, told FOX19 NOW that people who want to keep the mascot are apprehensive about speaking out on the issue for fear of retaliation.
Henson says the native theme, “provides a unique and powerful opportunity to educate Native Americans and to keep them in remembrance.”
According to our media partners at the Enquirer, the board considered changing Anderson’s mascot in 1999, in 2003 and again in 2018. Each time the board decided to keep the school’s controversial name.
A second board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, to “discuss, consider and vote on a motion to retire the Anderson High School mascot.”
If you would like to continue to share your opinion regarding the future of the Anderson High School mascot, you can send the Board of Education an email at Board@ForestHills.edu.