211 petitions

This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to John Robison (Davis School District Board of Education President), Reid P. Newey (Davis School District Superintendent), Liz Mumford (Davis School District Board of Education Vice President), Julie Tanner (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Brigit Gerrard (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Gordon Eckersley (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Marie Stevenson (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Cheryl Phipps (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Randy Lewis (Bountiful City Mayor), Lorene Miner Kamalu (Davis County Commission Chair), Bob J Stevenson (Davis County Commission Vice Chair), Randy B Elliott (Davis County Commissioner), Aaron Hogge (Bountiful High School Principal), Douglas Hammerschmidt (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal), Travis Warnick (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal)

Change Bountiful High School's Offensive and Racist Mascot

I graduated from Bountiful High in 2013. In the wake of recent events, I wanted to draw attention to the offensive, outdated, and racist mascot of Bountiful High School, the Brave and advocate for a change. As we see a shift on the national level with professional teams reevaluating their racist mascots, we are hoping to make one here, closer to home. It's shameful and embarrassing to me that Bountiful High is one out of the three high schools in Utah that still uses an indigenous person as their mascot. It is not right that a rich culture and history is being reduced to a mascot. The idea of changing the mascot has been explored in the past, but there have been minimal changes to the representation of Indigenous peoples in the school. Now is the time to change the mascot and rectify the years of inherent and obvious racism at the heart of Bountiful High School. Let's work together to change that. The predominant argument against changing our mascot, the Brave, is that it's part of our history and tradition. That type of tradition has no place in the future of the school, and is not something that the community should be proud of. It is inappropriate to use the images and culture of indigenous people in this manner. Native Americans and indigenous people have rich history and culture and should not be reduced to a stereotype or caricature. Some of the common practices of the student body are wearing face paint and headdresses while screaming “war cries” at sporting events and assemblies and it is unacceptable. Homecoming parties are called Pow-wows, insensitive chants are used at school events, and tomahawk chops were common practice. These are only a few of the things embedded into the Bountiful High School culture that are inherently racist and unethical. As an institution of education that teaches students about the negative results of racism and social injustice, Bountiful High cannot continue using this mascot and logo while teaching against it. Students can be proud of their school without having to wear shirts and accessories that appropriate another culture. During my time at Bountiful High, I participated in these practices and was uninformed about their harm. It is the job of the adult educators, faculty, administration, school board, and superintendent to ensure that the students they are responsible for understand the impact of their own actions. In my case, no adult ever pointed out the ramifications, inherent racism, and harm of the cultural appropriation that was rampant at Bountiful High School. I am teaching myself as an adult and want to make a change so future students don't have to live with the shame and regret over participating in racist traditions many of us Bountiful Alumni are grappling with today.  Please remove this harmful mascot, and build a new future and traditions for Bountiful High School. I believe the students and community can come together and create new ideas for a mascot more fitting of our Bountiful values! (The photo used in this petition was taken from Bountiful High's Facebook Page, is currently their profile picture, and uploaded as of 10/27/2018)

Mallory Rogers
5,986 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Brattleboro Union High School School Board, Superindentent Andrew Skarzynski, Principal Steve Perrin

Change the Racist Colonel of Brattleboro Union High School

The Colonel Mascot, of the Brattleboro Colonels, is a racist name that is deeply rooted in the history of the enslavement of Black people, The Civil War, and the racist history of Brattleboro. The first BUHS Colonel Mascot image was modeled after Colonel Reb, a white, goateed Southern plantation owner and enslaver who was also the mascot for the University of Mississippi. That is, until they recognized it’s racist origins and changed their mascot in 2003. I’ve attached a picture comparing Colonel Reb (left) and the original BUHS mascot (right)--they’re virtually identical except the colors. Throughout 2003 there was heated debate and finally in 2004, BUHS also recognized the racist origins of the mascot and decided to pick a new image to represent the school, but did not choose a new name. While changing the image was a step, it simply was not enough, and the name of our mascot is a disgusting display of the racism in our state and our school. According to a 2010 article by Emma Carmichael called The Ugly, Racially Charged Fight over a Confederate Mascot. In Vermont, in 1998 BUHS had to “ban bonfires at our pep rallies because someone had dangled an effigy of a black doll above the flames, and soon after that, a letter to the local newspaper pointed out that it was, well, kind of odd that our football team's rallying cry was "Pride of the South.”’ Although when asked, they would say that this is because Brattleboro is in Southern Vermont, “when the phrase was coupled with the Southern slave owner on the team bumper stickers, and when those bumper stickers were affixed to the pickup trucks that flew their Confederate flags in the high school parking lot, well, people did double-takes. There were always a lot of Confederate flags.” And while some may think that because this happened so many years ago it’s fine now, or that because the image was changed that the problem is solved, it is not. As a white student I was never a victim of the institutional and interpersonal racism at BUHS, but I tell you as a recently graduated witness and as the older sibling of a Black brother who’s currently enrolled there and frequently comes home with stories of aggressive and blatant discrimination, racism is still rampant in the halls of BUHS.  I love this community and this school, which is why I want it to be a place that's a safe and nurturing environment for ALL Brattleboro students, not just white ones. By having a name with an overt connection to Slavery, the Civil War South, and the racist history of Brattleboro, BUHS is telling its students of color that it is not a space meant for them. We cannot claim to stand for inclusion and anti-racism while having this mascot--it is an obvious and frankly embarrassing contradiction. Before we can even begin healing the wounds of our racist history, we have to acknowledge it and remove its vestiges. It’s time to actually make BUHS a safe space for Black students. “Pride in our school and its history” is absolutely not an excuse to avoid doing this. We must criticize the things we take pride in the most.   I am proud to be a BUHS graduate, but I am not proud when I am called a Colonel. The name Brattleboro Colonels must be removed. I implore you to sign this petition, share it, and  email faculty, other students--past or present, BUHS Principal Steve Perrin, the WSESU School Board, and Superintendent Andrew Skarzynski. Edit/Update: According to the Reformer and a piece called Harvard and Slavery, the name Colonels came before the Colonel Reb image and was based off Colonel Brattle, the Revolutionary soldier who this town was named after. He was a rich white man who lived in Cambridge, Mass and was gifted a large sum of stolen Abenaki land, now known as Brattleboro. His father was a slave owner and William Brattle himself is recorded to have owned at least one enslaved worker. He apparently never even visited "his" land that’s now known as Brattleboro. This information DOES NOT change the racist implications or importance of changing this name.  Most of this information is from a 2010 article called The Ugly, Racially Charged Fight Over A Confederate Mascot. In Vermont. by Emma Carmichael and a 2017 Reformer article called A colonel by any other name: School mascot debate echoes back to Brattleboro dispute by Kevin O’Connor. I hope you take the short amount of time to read the full articles.

Freesia Capy Goldfarb
1,426 supporters