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The Beat of the Drum

The Mascot Recommendation

An+old+drum+depicting+the+Indian+Mascot.
An old drum depicting the Indian Mascot.

An old drum depicting the Indian Mascot.

Audrey Palmer

Audrey Palmer

An old drum depicting the Indian Mascot.

David Lopez, Editor-in-Chief

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In case you haven’t heard, recently the Napa High School Mascot Committee announced their recommendation that Napa High School change their controversial Indian mascot.

The announcement came on Wednesday March 1st. The committee included students, parents, Napa High alumni, members of our community’s indigenous population, a member of the school board, and many other representatives of the faculty and school district. They met 5 times, between November 2016 and February 2017. The goal was to make a recommendation on the mascot’s fate that was respectful and took into account all the views on the issue.

After educating themselves on all points of view, and discussing it extensively, the committee decided to make the recommendation that the mascot be changed. This is not the final decision, just a recommendation. The community will have opportunity to voice their opinion at school board meetings in the coming weeks. A definitive decision will likely be coming in April.

This recommendation raises many questions, how would a new mascot be chosen? What is the cost of adopting a new mascot? How can we afford to make the change, given that the district is hurting for money? What’s going to happen to all our Indians memorabilia?

I sat down with principals Mrs. Annie Petrie, Mr. Peter Hartnack, Mr. Mike Smith, and Mrs. Kate Gauger to talk about the potential mascot change. The first thing we discussed is whether or not there’s any idea as to the cost of uniform replacement if the mascot changes. “In terms of, like, having a spreadsheet that lists out and enumerates every single thing, no” stated Hartnack. “Usually, uniforms are on a cycle… so on that next cycle, if this was to be a change, any references to the Indian would at that point be eliminated” Hartnack further explained. Hartnack continually emphasised that any transition that takes place would be gradual, not an overnight ordeal.

According to Mrs. Petrie, any facilities than need to be renovated or painted will be the district’s responsibility, and covered under the district’s general maintenance costs. Petrie also focused on the point that the Napa High Mascot Committee was really a school board directed committee, and although Napa High was strongly represented within the committee, it was not in connection with the school. “This Committee was not a Napa High committee… this was directed by the board to the superintendent, to put together a committee to look at the Napa High mascot, and that’s what happened” stated Petrie.

The colors, blue and gold, are not in jeopardy according to the principals. “Blue and gold baby” was Petrie’s response, “we love our colors.”

The group also stressed that changing the mascot is not a forgone conclusion. The decision is yet to be made. At the 8th grade orientation night, many students noticed stickers that were passed out to next year’s freshman that simply consisted of a blue and gold “N” sans the “I” that stands for indians. They were outraged, believing that the stickers meant that the mascot was almost certainly going to be changed. According to Mrs. Petrie, “we just liked the baseball hats… so we said let’s just go with it.” So there you have it, according to Mrs. Petrie, there is no connection between the mascot issue and the stickers.

The school board meeting to discuss the issue will be on April 6th at the District Auditorium beginning at 6:00, public participation is accepted and encouraged. The school board makes its decision April 20th.

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