Our Message to the District
Aug 19, 2020 —
Our message to the district was sent out this morning and is as follows:
To the members of the East Peoria Community High School Board, Superintendent Dr. Marjorie Greuter, and Assistant Superintendent Lori Laredo:
We come to the Board and Administration of EPCHS on behalf of our community with a respectful request to replace the EPCHS “Raider head” mascot. On August 17th, a virtual petition was created calling for the removal of the mascot on the grounds of promoting a more inclusive school environment. The petition can be found at the following link with live updates on signature milestones:
As we write this, the petition stands at 975 signatures, and it’s still climbing each minute. Initially, we intended to only make this request after receiving 1,000 signatures, but based on its unexpected momentum and how soon it will reach this goal, we now feel that immediate action needs to be taken. The overwhelming support of community members signifies that this school district cannot tolerate and perpetuate cultural appropriation any longer.
The harm caused by the current mascot goes far beyond the inappropriate use of the Indigenous face, arrowheads, feathers, and headdresses as props and costumes. The intangible traditions (i.e., the “war chant,” use of the term “tribe,” red paint on the skin of white students, skits impersonating Indigenous people, etc) are hurtful and offensive; they not only serve to normalize racism in the eyes of the general student population but also alienate the Indigenous populations within EPCHS and surrounding the school’s community.
The continued appropriation and mockery of Indigenous American culture speaks not to the pride and spirit of the school, but rather the ignorance and disinterest of a community that refuses to take action against racism. To better reflect the Equal Educational Opportunities (7:10) standard EPCHS strives for, we respectfully request consideration for the change of the mascot and all offensive props and traditions along with it.
Frankly, it’s overdue.
EPCHS Class of 2024
EPCHS Alumni 2018
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