Oklahoma City High School Narrows in on Replacement for 'Redskins' Mascot
Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, Okla., is down to four possible choices to replace its "Redskins" mascot, according to Tim Willert of The Oklahoman.
In December, the Oklahoma City school board voted unanimously to drop the school's former mascot, which had been in place for 88 years, effective immediately. The district's administration created a committee of students, alumni, and community members, which settled on four alternatives: Red Hawks, Red Wolves, War Eagles, and Nations, according to Willert.
"Our students don't want the mascot that we chose now to be offensive 80 years from now," said faculty representative Curtis Phillips to News9.com. "So they were really looking ahead and wanting to choose something nobody could find offensive in any way."
Chieftains, Warriors, Wolverines, and Jaguars were all under consideration as well, but all four failed to meet the cut. The former's allusion to American Indians is what ultimately earned it the ax.
"We have decided that there will be no Native American linkage or connotation or anything that identifies a Native American individual," said J. Don Harris, the president of the school's alumni association and a member of the selection committee, to Willert. "I think we're actually losing the legacy of the school, which the alumni wanted to base their mascot on."
The group is set to meet this week to finalize its selections. Students will ultimately vote on which of the four mascots to adopt.
Capitol Hill High School isn't the only school confronting the "Redskins" issue head-on. Last month, students at Sandy Spring Friends School, a private school in Sandy Spring, Md., elected to ban usage of the word on campus, including any apparel with the word on it. Unlike Capitol Hill, Sandy Spring didn't have "Redskins" as its mascot—the mascot is the Wildebeests—but the local professional football team does.
At Neshaminy (Pa.) High School, the student newspaper has been at odds with the school's administration over the term for more than a year now. In September, the paper's editor-in-chief, Gillian McGoldrick, received a month-long suspension for censoring the word from a letter to the editor without receiving permission from the principal. (Like Capitol Hill, the school's mascot is the "Redskins.") Recently, McGoldrick detailed her experience in an Education Week Commentary.
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