An Ohio high school will keep its controversial “Redskins” mascot after a mob of angry parents shouted down a smaller group of activists who pushed for a change.
The Anderson High School branding and mascot committee met Tuesday night to discuss the proposed change, and the gathering turned loud and contentious, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Pro-change activists wearing “words matter” buttons mostly sat quietly during the meeting, while opponents wearing “once a redskin, always a redskin” shirts held up “facts matter” signs.
Opponents of the change repeatedly shouted down committee members, despite repeated pleas for silence, and jeered pro-change advocates.
“Please don’t boo me,” said committee member Julie Bissinger. “Please let my fellow committee members talk to me.”
The seven-member committee voted after two hours of debate to keep the nickname, saying it would cost more than $450,000 to change the mascot.
“The majority seems not to be offended,” said committee member Andy Wolf, who supports the controversial mascot. “It would be nice to make everyone feel happy, but I don’t know that that could happen.”
Despite the jeers and shouting from pro-mascot advocates, he blamed “politically incorrect bullying” for the proposed name change.
Committee members said they received threats from both sides of the issue.
The school has previously considered changing the mascot in 1999 and 2003, after changing the nickname in 1936 from the Comets, seven years after Anderson High opened.
Anderson most likely changed to the current nickname to please faculty who graduated from nearby Miami University, which dropped the Redskins moniker in 1997 to become the Redhawks.