Newcome Weighs In On Red Raider Ban

062113_sraiders21_600WEST CHESTER — District officials say Radnor High School’s Red Raider mascot has “graduated” and will no longer attend football games and other sporting events.

The departure was noted at a Radnor Township School Board policy committee Tuesday, when Radnor Principal Mark Schellenger updated the panel about the development. He said pictures of the departing mascot are in the 2013 yearbook, but that is the end.

“There will be no mascot — no character of an Indian on our sidelines,” Schellenger said. “The Red Raider is graduated, while at the same time we will maintain the tradition of the Radnor Raiders.”

In Chester County, four schools use Native American references for mascots: Coatesville, Unionville, Octorara and West Chester Henderson. So is there now or will there soon be other local efforts to follow Radnor’s path?

Octorara Superintendent Thomas Newcome II said Thursday that the topic of jettisoning the Brave as a mascot has been brought up over the years.

“We’ve had people question it in the past. We’ve actively decided to try to bring some respect and honor to the Native American heritage,” said Newcome. “We teach all the students an acronym of the word BRAVES: Bold, Responsible, Ambitious, Virtuous, Energetic and Selfless.”

The district has a statue in front of the high school that portrays a Brave carrying a diploma rather than a weapon.

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11 responses to “Newcome Weighs In On Red Raider Ban

  1. I think tradition rather than political correctness should be upheld when it comes to school names and/or sports mascots. NONE of these names are meant in a derogatory way and NONE should be discarded because they seem “politically inappropriate” to a few. It seems in today’s society that the minority rules for fear of a possible lawsuit. Take a vote and let the majority rule.

    • I tend to agree, but I suspect one letter threatening legal action from the National Congress of American Indians will have most school districts changing.

      • Unfortunately that is the society in which we now live. It seems to cater to the select few who complain instead of standing up for what the majority of people know is the right course.

      • I feel that we should leave well enough alone. Over the past 30 years that I’ve been aware of the Red Raider in Coatesville, I’ve looked forward to seeing him do his dance at the football games & we’ve all loved it! ~It was always such an honor to be the “Chief” ~no one was degrading or dishonoring the Indian heritage, much the opposite in fact! Many conversations were likely started at games watching them do their victory dances that brought awareness to the Indian heritage that would have otherwise gone unspoken. To all the politically correct idiots out there & their lawyers, in particular, I say, SHAME ON YOU, for undermining tradition & making issues where there are none! We have enough to deal with in society today. What is the saying, don’t go looking for the devil, he’ll find you anyway!

      • I would suggest leaving the legal aspect out and try to look at the issue from an ethical standpoint.

    • Politically incorrect??? Try ethically wrong! The problem is historically the majority has ruled…let it go it is not your cultural symbol.

      • Ok, everyone, Anna has ruled that we can no longer use symbols from any cultures or nationalities to promote sports teams or any other group. From now on, the only politically correct, un-offensive symbol that can be used is a square. We now wait upon Anna’s next ruling on what colors are appropriate.

        Anna, get over yourself. It’s not your cultural symbol either.

  2. I agree with you, but at the same time, I think that offense is in the eye of the beholder. I can try to understand the pain when the native american community looks around and sees all of these cartoon characters, mascots, sports teams, etc. that treat their culture like a joke.

    Imagine if all of our american heros were slaughtered at the hands of native american warriors. Maybe we’d fight a little harder to protect their reputation.

  3. The reality is Octorara will have to change the mascot at some point. Popular opinion, political pressure, and the courts will make keeping the mascot impossible, no matter how positive an image the district tries to create. It is what it is.

    Like pbtodayfan, I see both sides of this. We don’t see people getting all bent out of shape over teams named the Spartans or the Centurions. We can say these teams are honoring the great warriors of history. On the other hand, if we really look at how native people not only lost their lands, but were stripped of their culture…

  4. As a White American I am speechless at the contemporary ignorance of some professionals regarding the use of Native American symbols as a school mascot. There is massive research on the subject and the outcomes reflect the negative impact upon all children when using cultural symbols as school mascots.

    Have you asked a Native American tribe their thoughts on the subject lately? The unspoken message being sent to our children is that it is acceptable to perpetuate inaccurate misconceptions about this culture in the educational setting as well as, continuing to support the media’s bias depiction of “our” country’s first people. Superintendent Sanville I am sure you are not deliberately attempting to be culturally insensitive and of course most folks in the community might not find this issue offensive because the fact of the matter is sir, most folks are viewing the world through their own cultural lens therefore it is the responsibility of others to model appropriate behavior.

    I keep reading that we are honoring the Native Americans. Is it to makes us feel better? How do you know that they feel honored? Or is it your belief that “they” should feel honored…and what if they don’t? Would they be labeled as ungrateful?

    But why waste my written words because at the end of the day, the dominate White culture will believe that they are right based on how they view the world and will discount the facts in favor of the destruction of a culture…that’s the American way isn’t it? Thank you to Radnor’s Principal Mark Schellenger for being a leader and demonstrating cultural respect now we need to do more!!

  5. vigodagod I love your comment..

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