story updated – 7-17-20
(7-13-20) It has been a long battle for Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, that battle has ended with the announcement of the mascot change announced today. The NFL franchise’s front runner choice to be the new mascot seems to be the ‘Red Wolves’, nothing confirmed yet.
Several weeks ago in suburban Cincinnati the Forest Hills Board of Education approved the retirement of the Anderson High School mascot, the ‘Redskins’, during a special BOE meeting The announcement surprised many local supporters who were against the change from attempts in the past. The school hopes to announce a new mascot in the weeks to follow.
Two Ohio schoosl have no plans to eliminate the ‘Redskins’ as their mascot –
In an email reply to SSN about the possibility of removing the ‘Redskin’ as the school’s mascot Daniel Holland, Superintendent of Fort Loramie Local Schools responded –
Our mascot originated from the rich history of our area in northern Shelby County and we believe that we represent our Redskin nickname with pride and respect. From time to time, the subject of changing our mascot comes up from various entities within our state. However, we haven’t had any recent discussions regarding changing our mascot and we continue to be proud of our local history and the representation of our Redskin nickname.
Wapakoneta Schools Superitendent Aaron Rex issued the following statement:
“This was actually an issue that was brought up last year to the State Board of Education and has been discussed multiple times in the past by various groups and agencies. The statement was made that it would be left up to each district individually.
At Wapakoneta we have always believed that our representation of Native Americans and their history in our area has been done with a great deal of respect. Our community was once a place inhabited by many Indian tribes with the last being the Shawnee under the leadership of Chief Black Hoof. In the last few years we have redesigned our school logo and feel that it has been done keeping the idea of respect and history in mind. Wapakoneta has a great deal to be proud of, as you know. Native American history is one piece of what makes our town one of the best small towns in Ohio.
At this time we have not had any formal discussions on changing our school mascot or logo.”
In a recent tweet Shawnee Chief Ben Barnes commented on Twitter –
In a Lima News story Barnes said –
“The Shawnees of Wapakoneta and the Shawnees of Hog Creek were both forced marched after The Indian Removal Act, so Wapakoneta is built on the pain and suffering and tears of the Shawnee people, and they can’t even get the headdress right or talk to us about the mascot.
American Indians always seem to be this vestigial leftover of issues that nobody wants to confront, and I think of The Indian Removal Act and these places that were homeland to Indian people and they were removed. They forced them to essentially what were concentration areas inside of Oklahoma. We have to talk about that and how did we get here.”
The change name as of 7-17-20 had over 1,300 signatures, the one to keep the name had no signatures.
The changing of a mascot for a high school can be quite expensive, from replacing uniforms, school stationary, athletic facilities signs, gym floors…etc. Will the OHSAA become involved in the process, some states have seen the legislature put pressure on schools for the elimination of this mascot.
The next domino to fall could be in Major League Baseball if Cleveland decides to get rid of the Indians, which opens up more discussion on ‘offensive’ mascots.
Note from the EDITOR
The email below was sent to three Stateline area schools over the 4th of July weekend – including Ft. Loramie, St. Henry and Wapakoneta…only Ft. Loramie replied.Wapakoneta issued a statement on the issue, but did not reply to our requests.
Two reminder emails were sent as follow-ups to the other schools-
Initial email –
I’ve had several readers of this story who thought it should include comments from the school districts whose schools have the Redskin mascot.
If you would like to add a statement or comment, we would be happy to post in response to the above article.
In the past years (starting around 2014) when I asked for comments from your school (some were your predecessors)… either I received a no comment or was blocked from twitter accounts or stopped receiving information when I asked for it.
The current issue has intensified this week…see the above story.
I apologize for any conflict this might have caused you over our thoughts on this issue.