Change Alta Loma's Racist Mascots

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Alta Loma Elementary, Junior High, and High School need to change their racist mascots and logos to something that responsibly reflects the current generation of the student body.

I graduated from ALHS in 2010. It's disgraceful to me that a decade after graduating, it is still a school using Indigenous peoples as a mascot. Though the idea of changing it has been explored in the past, there has been minimal progress. We can rectify this; One way to start is to throw a design competition for each school, awarding the student who created the best new mascot and logo.

Changing the mascots and logos isn’t about being “politically correct” as much as it is how these mascots’ stereotypes ignore the genocidal history and biases incurred to Native communities. While Native Americans have been and are still killed, denigrated, stolen from and disenfranchised for participating in cultural practices let alone existing, non-Native Alta Loma students get to freely “play Indian” while learning nothing about Natives’ real lives. A true honoring of Alta Loma’s culture would be to teach the history of the original stewards of the land-- the Gabrielino-Tongva community. We can step in the right direction by inviting Tribal guest speakers to teach students about Tongva history and hiring Indigenous teachers so students can see humanized representations of Native excellence.

There is adequate research that using Native peoples as mascots psychologically harms Native children by creating a hostile educational environment, engendering lower self-esteem and lowering educational attainment. This is all for the sake of the fan sentimentality of those who choose to vainly hurt others and make excuses for it in order to feel better about themselves, or in other words, bullying. If schools can see the absurdity in using a Black person as a mascot or logo to characterize, why are they doing it to Natives? 

When students see one-dimensional caricatures of their school, it forms cultural biases and prejudices-- surely a contradiction of the Alta Loma and Chaffey School District’s values. Many retort they are honoring Natives with mascots and logos, but in reality it refuses to confront the truth of the people they claim to be honoring, and seeks to honor themselves by telling their own biased narrative. This tradition Alta Lomans claim is theirs is one that has no place in the minds of our children and future of our schools.

A previous petition to resist these positive changes claimed the ALHS newspaper, the “Teepee Times” honors Tongva culture. This is a clear example of willful ignorance because a quick Google search shows Tongva do not use Teepees as dwellings and never have, as teepees are more specific to the Great Plains. The petitioner also stated there are only five words to survive the Gabrielino language; This continues the narrative they are left in the past, however Tongva peoples are working diligently to revitalize the language and continue to thrive in this effort today.

The truth of the matter is, these Alta Loma schools are taking advantage of a culture that isn’t theirs for their entertainment and identity. Please remove these harmful mascots and logos in exchange for a new future and tradition for Alta Loma. I believe we can come together to create new ideas for a mascot more fitting of our values!