Replace Padre Mascot!

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With the recent removal of statues, memorials, and mascots with racist roots throughout the United States, we feel it is time for Californians to reappraise our history and the figures we take pride in. CHS has a great opportunity and responsibility to lead the way in our community by acknowledging and honoring the unjust and shameful treatment of Indigenous people of California, here on the Monterey Peninsula. It is clear that the time is now to remove the Padre as Carmel High School's mascot.

Not only is the Padre an obviously Catholic figure being used as a mascot in a public school (which is problematic in its own right), but it also represents the enslavement and genocide of local Indigenous people and their cultures. As three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Elias Castillo writes, “Locked within the missions is a terrible truth -- that they were little more than concentration camps where California’s Indians [Indigenous people of California] were beaten, whipped, maimed, burned, tortured and virtually exterminated by the friars”. 

We are all familiar with the widely revered Padre Junipero Serra — Carmel even honors him with his very own street downtown. The unfortunate reality is that he was responsible for creating a regimen so harsh that over 60,000 Indigenous people lost their lives and several small tribes fell to extinction. Should we really be cheering on the Padre, a historical figure that devastated an entire civilization of Indigenous people? What kind of message is that sending to the young people we are trying to raise up and educate to become responsible, intelligent, and inclusive individuals? 


Please sign and urge the CUSD to replace the Padre mascot!