Change the Brentwood Union Free School District Mascot/Logo in Long Island NY

Change the Brentwood Union Free School District Mascot/Logo in Long Island NY

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Alana Gomez started this petition to Brentwood Union Free School District and

Prior to becoming the Brentwood, NY, we know today. Brentwood was coined Modern Times by founders Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. The founders took extreme pride in the establishment of a town which contained likeminded individuals who valued complete individual liberty and unlimited freedom of expression. Auguste Comte, a French Philosopher, marked Modern Times as the American center of positivism. Positivism is a “system of belief based on science and observable phenomena rather than metaphysical speculation or anything supernatural." Known as a town with deep roots for its progressive and positive thinking, it is unfathomable to believe that Brentwood’s image could be tainted due to a mascot. However, that is the case we are here to argue. 

Brentwood Union Free School District (BUFSD), also known as the biggest school district in the state of New York, consists of multiple public schools ranging from Elementary to High School. Currently, the current BUFSD mascot is the Indians. The term Indian has deep racial and barbaric stigmatization. Christoper Columbus coined the term after becoming exposed to Natives in the Americas. Under his belief that he had landed in India, he addressed the indigenous people as Indians. Columbus and his men would then go on to massacre many tribes not only in the United States but all over the Americas and Caribbean. Along with other Europeans that arrived in the Americas, Christoper Columbus did not view the Natives as equals. The Indigenous tribes were treated as barbarians who did not deserve the protection of fundamental human rights by these colonizers.  

The Brentwood of today is a diversified community that takes pride in all of the cultures represented within its borders. We are a proud community of minorities. Every day we fight against the injustices that surround us in the current political climate. Knowing well the injustices we face and the town's deep roots for progressive thinking, its unfathomable to believe that our mascot is the Indian. Brentwood has a strong Latinx community. As mentioned prior, Columbus was a significant force in terrorizing many of our ancestors across the Americas and the Caribbean. That is why we call for the removal of the Indian as our school’s mascot. It is highly inappropriate and enforces past stereotypes of Native American labels.

In 2005 the American Psychological Association (APA) called for the immediate removal of all indigenous mascots within schools, universities, and organizations due to the harmful effects of racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals of indigenous people. The APA argues that the use of Indigenous mascots undermines the educational experiences of communities, particularly those who have little to no contact with indigenous people. Mascots such as the Brentwood Indians teach our children that it is acceptable to participate in culturally abusive behavior and perpetuate inaccurate misconceptions about Native American culture. Be it intentional or not, the BUFSD insults the culture of Native Americans through the use of the Indians mascot and the school newsletter titled the “Pow Wow”. A pow wow is a traditional gathering respected amongst various Native American tribes that represents cultural expression during a time of oppression and genocide. The term Pow Wow should not be used out of context or by groups that are not members of indigenous tribes let alone a school newspaper.

As Brentwood alumni and community members, we ask the BUFSD to remove the Indians as the school mascot as well as any other offensive material tethered to the inaccurate portrayal of Ingenious American culture.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!