Retire Warren G. Harding High Schools Mascot

Retire Warren G. Harding High Schools Mascot

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Eric Brown
Eric Brown signed this petition

The Raider mascot depicting a Native American has been Warren G. Harding High Schools mascot ever since Warren Western Reserve High School merged with Harding in 1990. As alumni, students, and community members agree, it is time to respectfully retire the Raider mascot being portrayed by members of the student body.

The mascot as it currently stands is degrading to native communities and compresses the diverse racial identity of Native Americans into a stereotype. The illustration of the Raider that is used in the branding is in no way a representation of the Erie Indians who were indigenous to the Trumbull county area and Northern Ohio region as early as 1624.

Not only is the mascot problematic, but for decades the mascot has been more often than not, a caucasian male or female of the student body. They wear a full Native American headdress which is a sacred symbol of strength and bravery and have been primarily reserved for the tribes political and spiritual leaders. They also paint their faces and carry a large spear, all while wearing an "Indian outfit".

In order to build a safe, supportive, and inclusive school community that promotes respect, diversity, and equality, it is important that we reflect on how the Raider continues to be an ignorant and hurtful representation of the Warren City Schools community. We need to move forward for positive change rather than blindly hold onto harmful "traditions".