After 90 years of service, the the Redskins mascot of Goshen High School (OH) has been retired after a board meeting completed a vote of 5-2.
Facing a political battle for over 20 years within the halls of Goshen High School, it wasn’t breaking news when the mascot received backlash from members of the Native American community, as heritage steered in a collision course with politics:
Rachel Hershberger of Native American descent brought the following statement up in the board meeting:
“Don’t use the R-word to my face. I am not your mascot, my family is not your mascot and my children are not your mascot. I have a name. I am worthy of being seen as a person.”
Goshen’s Director of Athletics, Larry Kissinger, defines the symbolism of being a part of the Goshen Redskin family (via Goshen Athletics):
“The official logo of the Goshen Redskins is that of an Indian Chief…a leader…someone who sets a good example…These are the life skills that athletic participation teaches student-athletes as they grow from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. A leader is also someone who listens to ideas and does not condemn or criticize; someone who has to make difficult decisions that they determine to be for the good of the entire group. Our attitudes towards sportsmanship, our behavior, and our pride in Goshen HS are not dependent on our mascot name, but on the positive life skills that sportsmanship instills in student-athletes.”
A conference broke out amongst 50 of the attendees, sounding off on their opinions in Goshen High School’s auditorium on behalf of for/against positions. And after two hours of Tylenol-inducing debate, a final agreement will lay to rest the Redskins mascot, in effect on January 1, 2016.
The school’s new representative has yet to be determined, but Goshen’s student body – along with the local community – will be involved in selecting the school’s new spirit leader.
Earlier this year, accounts surfaced over a New York school district’s application of the Redskins name. At no avail, the Lancaster County district suffered the same fate as Goshen H.S., retiring its Redskins mascot after 60 years of usage.
Superintendent Michael Vallely initially coined the Redskins name as a symbol of “proud heritage,” but reversed his logic after an outcry that’s lasted over several years and later deemed the logo as “a symbol of ethnic stereotyping.”
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports