WHS Alumni Petition to Change Sachem Mascot

WHS Alumni Petition to Change Sachem Mascot

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Sophie Lewis started this petition to Principals and

When Native symbols are used as mascots, logos, and team names they promote stereotyping. While the communities of high schools with such mascots often believe they are honoring Natives, there is a growing body of research showing the harmful effects of such racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals. 

A bill in the Massachusetts legislature, titled "An Act to Prohibit the Use of Native American Mascots by Public Schools in the Commonwealth," describes how "as stereotypes, mascots do not accurately represent Native people, nor do they honor them. Mascots reinforce one-dimensional, often derogatory stereotypes that overshadow the contributions, perspectives and struggles of contemporary Native people. For many Native people, these racial stereotypes are painful reminders of their historical trauma and of the limited ways that others see them."

The Winchester Sachem was adopted in the 1950s, when Indian motifs were becoming popular for sports teams. While some argue that the Sachem name was adopted to honor local history—specifically a woman leader known as the “Squaw Sachem”—the caricatures of Indians used for the logo over the past decades make this a questionable rationale. The current graphic is based on a depiction of a Plains Native American, and thus is not historically accurate.

As Winchester High School alumni, we believe it is important that the Winchester community find a new mascot that will be a source of pride for everyone. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!