(12-17-21) The Glastonbury (Conn) Board of Education was holding a special hearing this week to discuss a petition asking the board to reverse its decision to replace the Tomahawk mascot and replace it with Guardians.
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On July 2 of last year, the National Congress of American Indians contacted the BOE, requesting Glastonbury High School to stop using the Tomahawk logo.
The board discussion was from a petition that over 3,200 residents have signed that the the old name, Tomahawks, be reinstated.
Glastonbury High senior Erin Cabana started a petition last year to keep the Tomahawks name.
The Glastonbury High School Tomahawks must stay. While I understand its tie to the Native Americans, in today’s day and age, tomahawks are a tool that people everywhere use. In fact there are even tomahawk throwing competitions. It is simply an axe type weapon/tool that was invented by the Native Americans. It’s not like Glastonbury is “stealing their tool” or “making fun of it” when it’s something you can find at any local hardware store and it has proven to be a very helpful tool. There’s no Native American in the logo either, it’s just an axe like graphic. What is offensive about an axe?
During a recess in the meeting, a man identified as Mark Finocchiaro, who had addressed the board and Ray McFall, the school board secretary, got into a heated confrontation. McFall could be seen shoving Finocchiaro who responds by punching McFall, who stumbled to the floor. The two were broken up by people at the meeting.
Glastonbury Police Department on Thursday said that no charges have yet been filed yet and the investigation is still ongoing.
The board of education stopped the meeting after the incident without voting on the matter.
‘School Board Superintendent Alan Bookman
“An incident occurred during the recess, which resulted in the board adjourning the meeting without voting on the matter.”
‘The Board of Education welcomes public comment and appreciates that there will always be passionate testimony when controversial issues are considered. But it is critical that we listen to each other with respect and follow meeting rules so that everyone can be heard.’
Several Connecticut school districts have recently reviewed their Native American mascots. West Hartford Public Schools board will take a vote soon about whether or not to change the names of the Conard High Chieftains and the Hall High School Warriors.
Last year, the Connecticut state legislature passed a provision to withhold slot machine revenue from Connecticut’s two tribal casinos from any towns whose schools continue to use Native American mascots.