The Morris High School Board of Education last night held discussions about their mascot.
Here is Superintendent Craig Ortiz.
We asked Ortiz how much could a potential change cost the district.
If they were to change the mascot, Ortiz said the district, community members and others would have input on the new name in the future.
Along with Morris, Sullivan, Momence, and Nokomis High School in Illinois have the redskin mascot. Some of the emails received by the board are below.
As a student of MCHS, I am sending this email requesting that the school administration seriously consider changing the name of our mascot. I understand that the current focus is on reopening school, but I think that given the current state of our country that this should be addressed and that some positive change should be made. Because of my position as student body president, I feel an obligation to not only myself, but to my school and community to speak up about this. I have a great sense of pride for our school and truly believe Morris holds some of the best students, staff, and faculty members around. That being said, I don’t believe that our mascot properly reflects our values. The term “Redskin” is viewed by most as a racial slur. The name is and has been dated. After seeing the Washington Redskins, a major NFL team, announce their name change, I don’t see what is holding us back from doing the same. I believe it is in our school’s best interest to change our name to something that honors American Indian heritage while also being respectful of it. I want to see our school on the right side of history.
In this time of racial reconciliation I ask that you reconsider the mascot choice at Morris, HS. The name is a dictionary defined racial slur. The mascot is a mockery of Indigenous Nations of North America. Headdresses are sacred to many Native Peoples. Wearing fake head dresses for show only reinforces harmful stereotypes of Native Americans as beings of the past.
Thank you for your efforts in education. I know that nobody in your district is intending racism with the mascot. But the result of the mascot is racism. I think you will see many benefits to rebranding away harmful mascots like the one found at Morris, HS. Good luck.