Petition to Seminole High School Students
Change Seminole High School’s Mascot
For years, Seminole High School students and staff have been sporting Native American headdresses at football games and other school events. The mascot of this Sanford, Florida high school is a Seminole man. Being a former student at Seminole High School, I have experienced this firsthand. I have not once learned about the Seminole tribe during my 4 years at Seminole High School, yet almost every building is given a name like “Tomahawk” or “Tribe Hall” and a headdress made of cheap plastic feathers and face paint is commonplace. The use of the Native American people as mascots is harmful, and is seen as disrespectful by actual Natives. According to the National Congress of American Indians, which is “one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organizations,” they have “held a clear position against derogatory and harmful stereotypes of Native people—including sports mascots—in media and popular culture.” To the staff at Seminole High School, you can not disregard the disrespect and concern Native people feel over these caricatures. Using a group of people as a mascot is inherently problematic; no other race of people would be seen as an acceptable mascot, as it is incredibly disrespectful. These caricatures are not “honoring” Natives, they are “perpetuatingnegative stereotypes” and “contributing to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” (NCAI) It is ironic that a school that prides itself on its diverse student population is represented by a mascot that is exemplary of cultural appropriation. While you cannot erase your past, please consider, going forward, utilizing a representative that is progressive, inclusive, and respectful of all.
Petition to Dr. Jeff Marsden (Medfield Public School Superintendent), Medfield Public School Committee
The Time is Now, Let's Change the Medfield Mascot Petition for Medfield Alumni
There is no doubt that Medfield is a great town. With countless athletic championship trophies, a thriving arts program, and stellar academic records, Medfield is a place people feel proud to live in. Yet, that pride is not shown in the mascot. Many residents feel ashamed to wear the mascot on their clothes and jerseys. For those not familiar with the mascot, it is a symbol of a Native American in a traditional Native American headdress. A school’s mascot is supposed to represent the community. According to the most recent US Census, Medfield is 92% white with a 0% Native American population. Using a Native American person as a mascot for a predominantly white school is cultural appropriation. It is easy to say that the mascot represents power. I agree that it does. But a Native American symbol should not represent power for a predominately white school! The King Philip's War (which partially took place in Medfield) was one of the most deadly battles between the European Colonists and Native Americans. It was driven by the white people's want for more land and the murder of three innocent Wampanoag men. Many Medfield Public School students, alumni, and residents do not know about this history. Due to this lack of education, the Medfield mascot is assumed to represent Medfield’s history. Using that logic, the current mascot represents Medfield’s history or stealing Native American land and European Colonists murdering innocent people. That should not be the case. The mascot needs to change. Problematic mascots are not a problem specific to Medfield. There are current bills going through the Massachusetts State House, H.443 and S.247, fighting to prohibit the use of Native American mascots throughout the state. Yet, due to COVID-19, this bill is not moving very fast. So, it is important that we take local action to change the mascot as soon as possible. The town of Millis is currently working on changing its mascot which also culturally appropriates Native American culture. By signing this petition, you are showing to the Medfield School Committee and Superintendent Dr. Marsden that changing the Medfield Public School’s mascot is necessary! Please share this petition with all Medfield Public School alumni. There needs to be change now! Thank you.
Petition to School board and administrators
CHANGE RIDLEY’S MASCOT!
For years, Ridley School District’s mascot has been The Raider, a title accompanied by an image of a Native American. This image is a caricature of indigenous people, and pairing it with the term Raider, which means thief, perpetuates negative stigma. It is time that Ridley School District changes their mascot image and title to something that is not racist. With the help of your signature, we can show the school board and administrators of the district that we as students will not be silent to this racism any longer.
Petition to Westwood High School Administration, Round Rock ISD
We Condemn the Westwood High School Mascot
As Westwood High School students and alumni, we condemn the school mascot's Native American elements. Despite the "academically challenging environment", "advanced preparation", and high academic rankings Westwood High School boasts, I know I am embarrassed to refer to myself as a Westwood Warrior; How can one of the most educated high schools in the state be so culturally ignorant and insensitive? The WHS website ironically states its aim is to "develop internationally minded individuals who recognize their common humanity and shared global guardianship to help create a better and more peaceful world". As students who are supposedly internationally-minded and who want to create a more peaceful world, it is our responsibility to openly condemn the violent brutalization of Native Americans, not profit off of them and ignore history by using their culture and people as a symbolization of our privileged high school struggle. Most importantly, this is not the student body's, staff's, or administration's symbol to use nor justify the use of. Westwood High School is 0.4% Native American. That means around 11 students of the 2,804 enrolled self-reported to have at least some variable trace of Native American ancestry. Prominent Native American groups around the country have openly condemned Native American themed mascots, so any justification that any Native American was involved in the decision to implement or support this mascot is invalid when almost all Native American groups are working tirelessly to change mascots like ours. (National Congress of American Indians, Change The Mascot, United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), National Indian Education Association, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, and more) Activism from those that have been culturally and/or racially exploited is working. Among many of those that have changed racially insensitive mascots and affiliations are Stanford University, Dartmouth University, UIUC, Arkansas State University, Juanita High School, Newton High School, and most recently the Washington NFL team. There is no legitimate excuse for Westwood High School to continue this: the mascot is not Westwood High School's "tradition" to uphold, and Westwood High School can surely come up with a way to finance this change of the mascot. How about by diverting money from unused programs this upcoming semester due to the pandemic? This is just one idea of many. The removal rather than the change of the mascot would cost even less. Evident with the changes in other schools and teams bigger and smaller than us, it is very possible to come up with a solution for Westwood's mascot and any mitigation from this issue is inexcusable. Using a symbolization of any culture represented at Westwood would be wrong. There would be outrage if we had an Asian, Hispanic, or African American man as our mascot, primarily from the victimized group. So Westwood: Why are you taking advantage of people who are not adequately represented at our school and therefore are unable to defend themselves? Cultural ignorance displayed with our mascot further fuels racism and cultural insensitivity among the student body and those involved. The picture in this petition features the most recent WHS class of 2020's senior t-shirt design, and here is a reminder that part of the brutalization of Native Americans in our history includes the intentional wipeout of indigenous communities by foreign disease. It is completely inaccurate to use this image to portray the class of '20 and their senior event cancellations due to COVID-19. After complaints, this shirt was removed and new shirts were dispersed. But despite knowing the offense this shirt caused, this did not stop the self-proclaimed "underground selling" of these shirts by parents of students as seen in the picture. We do wonder why these parents were so adamant to sell this racist shirt that did not belong to their generation with a symbol that did not belong to them. By not aggressively condemning this mascot we are perpetuating this despicable behavior. The Westwood High School mascot is not symbolic of the student body or administration; It is not a tribute, nor a tradition, nor is it unchangeable. Sign/share this petition to spread the word and to show that you do not support this mascot. Do not be complacent. Resist activism that is solely performative. Do something about it. Sources to educate yourself: https://www.statesman.com/news/20170331/commentary-westwood-high-mascot-a-lesson-in-cultural-blind-spots http://www.nomorenativemascots.org/ https://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/variables/smallpox.html https://www.changethemascot.org/supporters-of-change/ http://www.ncai.org/proudtobe
Petition to Rust Foundation
Make Ferris an Official Mascot of the Rust Foundation
The Rust programming language is a phenomenal example that issues in our world can be fixed by open source, hard work, and community involvement. The Rust language is well-known by those "in the click", and is starting to become more and more prevalent, due to its great speed, and low-level systems abilities. However, there is another side to creating a popular product, the marketing! And although Rust's logo is quite cool, for some time "Ferris the crab" has been an unofficial mascot. Many Rust users call themselves "Rustaceans", and use the crab as a symbol of Rust. Now that the Rust Foundation is officially forming, while it's early in its stages, this is the time to place Ferris as an official mascot. The foundation could use Ferris to sell merchandise, and allow for not just pure money donations (since it's often fun to get something in return). As seen by the Free Software Foundation, using your brand and imagery (such as the GNU) for merchandise can help make some money, and spread your imagery to different formats. The ability to use Ferris can help create a cute, and lovable mascot to the already phenomenal Rust language. Ultimately, using Ferris as a logo can help bring in money, create a cute face to be associated with Rust, and help "bond" the community. Help make this a reality today!
Petition to Michael Mongon, Anthony DiCarlo, Adam Savino, Ben Dilullo, David Furaro, Lawrence Keane, Lucy Massafra, Tanner McCracken, Ray McDonough, Michael Simone
Retiring Mahopac's 'Indian' Mascot
Since its founding over 80 years ago, Mahopac Central School District has perpetuated inequity and capitalized on colonialism. Despite our district claiming “it’s…important to us that students’ social, emotional, and overall wellbeing is supported,” our community continues to ignore bigotry as an issue. Have we forgotten the headlines denoting four instances of racism related to Mahopac student conduct—once in 2012, twice in 2014, and again in April of this year? Turning a blind eye to toxic ideology will only exacerbate the problem for current and future generations living in our community. In a comprehensive research report by Brown University’s Dr. Michael A. Friedman, “Indian” sports mascots were shown to harmfully “perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” Furthermore, “hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Indian mascots.” Currently, Native Americans are still being oppressed and marginalized in society. They face the continual loss of territory due to oil industry buyouts, voter repression via unjust legislation, and high levels of violence, especially toward Native women (which is often disregarded by local authorities) among many other injustices. Mahopac’s “Indian” mascot is a reminder of these acts of divisiveness and marginalization, which further emphasizes our community’s inability to eliminate racism. We need to unite together to end the racial discrimination scarring our community by removing a symbol that has held us back from healing for far too long. Therefore, I propose that instead of complacency, we implement a united systemic transformation of belief. My action plan involves three steps: Community engagement, educational forum development, and rebranding. Step 1 involves you. I am calling upon individuals to sign this petition to inform the School Board of the Mahopac Central School District and Anthony DiCarlo, the superintendent of the Mahopac Central School District, of our concerns and propose the solutions addressed in Steps 2 and 3. Step 2 involves the community. Together we can develop an open forum for our municipality to safely and appropriately discuss taboo topics (i.e., race, gender, ethnicity). Let us better ourselves through conversation and education. Lastly, Step 3 involves Adidas. In 2015, Adidas launched the “Mascot Change” initiative, which is a voluntary program for high schools that “would give schools access to the company’s design team for logo redesign and uniform design across all sports.” This is a grant-funded initiative that requires a simple proposal from a school district to instigate change at little monetary and temporal cost. It is not my intention to eliminate Native American culture from Mahopac entirely. The biggest issue in our mascot, besides its racist connotation, is that there is no public education regarding the ancestors of our land. Together, we can celebrate and learn about the Wappinger tribe that lived on this territory, and how Mahopac as we know it came to be. There is irony surrounding our pride for the “Mahopac Indians” without knowing anything about the tribe’s history. All three steps can engage the community toward fostering a more inclusive neighborhood. In our current cultural climate, many people will feel that this initiative is too “politically correct” and that they are not responsible for what happened to Native Americans. No, we may not be independently responsible for the genocide and injustices that Native American communities have faced throughout history; however, we are responsible for the cultural appropriation that Mahopac has undertaken in using the “Indian” as our mascot. There is precedent from nearby districts taking action to address similar appropriation. In 2002, Ossining High School changed its “Indian” mascot after the state education commissioner “requested that districts stop using American Indian symbols as mascots”. Most recently, in November 2019, Superintendent Andrew Selesnick voted with the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board to retire their 'Indian' mascot stating: "In 2019, maintaining the mascot is at odds with our educational mission...If we are to teach our students the importance of truly listening when someone or some group tells us that our behavior or our words are harmful or unwelcome, then we as a district should serve as a model.” By separating ourselves from a symbol of imperialist oppression, we can begin the process of redeveloping our values as a community. I am proud and privileged to have grown up in Mahopac, but without a plan to curb the harmful rhetoric that has been tolerated for far too long, our district will be known for our tolerance for racism, rather than the wealth of knowledge and abundant resources in our area. ~Sincerely, Daniel Ehrenpreis, 2012 graduate of Mahopac High School firstname.lastname@example.org
Petition to COURTNEY FISHER, Jackie Cranor, David Mattson, Janie Gebhardt, Paul Vitale, Brian Blad, rcheatum , Dr. Howell, Jim Facer
SAVE THE POCATELLO INDIAN LOGO ( Mascot )
We the undersigned students, graduates, and concerned citizens of Pocatello and Pocatello High School urge you to keep the Indian as the logo of Pocatello High School. It's not about hate, but heritage, tradition and history. The Indian logo has been around since the high schools creation and it has always been a revered symbol of loyalty, tradition. and honor. Please keep the Proud Indians as the symbol of Pocatello High School. Don't erase the Indians and our shared history. Educate don't Eradicate. [Note: Pocatello High School does not have a Mascot, we have a logo. The Indian Mascot, Oske Ow Wow was done away with in 1972.
Petition to Montgomery County School Board
Change the MOCO Indian Mascot. It’s disrespectful and perpetuates negative stereotypes.
We continue over the years to fight for justice for all people. We disrespect Native Americans by having a mascot that represents their people, heritage and culture. That is not an honor. The human race is not meant to be a mascot. That is not an honor. It is not respectful and does not exemplify great esteem. Please stand with me for Justice for our Native American brothers and sisters to honor them by removing the Indian name and replacing it with a more appropriate name.