Addressing Our Racist History

212 petitions

Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee, Gregory Martineau, Incoming ARHS Principal

Change the Algonquin Regional High School name and mascot

The reconsideration of Algonquin Regional High School's name has been a long time coming. The name was stolen from the Algonquin people, part of the Algonquian language group, who have predominant populations in parts of North America. There is no record of the Algonquin tribe consenting to the Northborough-Southborough School District’s decision to name the high school and mascot after them.  The Algonquin name in conjunction with the Tomahawk mascot – which is an ax-like weapon – perpetuate racist stereotypes, classifying Natives as violent and barbaric. Since Algonquin Regional High School’s conception in 1959, racist attire, chants and behavior have been commonplace – disguised as school pride and excused as an attempt to honor Native people. This racism is unacceptable and must change immediately. Other schools across the country, including in Massachusetts, have successfully changed their racist mascots to monikers that do not appropriate Native people or symbols. For example, Lamar High School in Houston, Texas changed their name from the Redskins to the Texans earlier this year. Massachusetts high schools like Hanover High School are also currently pushing for their racist mascot – the Indian – to change. Now is not the time to sit idly by and be complicit. School tradition should not take precedence over justice. A school that continues to employ Native symbols and names creates an environment where students think appropriation is acceptable and encouraged, which perpetuates racism. Please sign your name on this petition if you believe the Northborough-Southborough School District must make these changes now.If you feel comfortable, please share your connection to the school district in your comment (ex: current student, alum, faculty, parent, school board member, etc.). Sources:

Students for Justice
3,492 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to Mayor Muriel Bowser

Change the name of Woodrow Wilson High School to John Lewis High School

Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States, revered by as a “a leader of the Progressive Movement”, was one of the most passionately racist leaders in all of U.S. History. Elected in 1913 and again in 1917, Wilson’s legacy is embellished with the racist exploits of his entire political career. Infamous for his hosting of a special White House screening of "Birth of a Nation", during which he reportedly remarked, “It's like writing history with lightning. My only regret is that it is all so terribly true,” Wilson believed that African Americans were inherently inferior to the white race.  He echoed this sentiment throughout his presidential career, resegregating government agencies that had been integrated during reconstruction and offering vocal support to the Ku Klux Klan terrorizing African Americans across the country. Wilson’s legacy grew in 1935 with the establishment of Woodrow Wilson High School in the Northwest corner of Washington DC. Originally an all white school, it still serves as his namesake today. Following the May 2020 death of 47 year old George Floyd, an African American man suffocated by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced plans to change the name of Woodrow Wilson High School after 85 years of baring the former president’s name. Officials for District of Columbia public schools opened an online form for name suggestions through October 30th to gather suggestions for the name change, which is estimated to cost 1.2 million dollars.  Following a summer of racialized strife and conflict, the decision to finally change the name of Woodrow Wilson High School symbolizes a long-overdue commitment to honoring the truth, a duty preciously upheld by the late John Robert Lewis.  When John Lewis began protesting racial injustice alongside Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr during the Civil Rights Movement, he gave the country a stunning reminder of the dark truths still facing African Americans across the country. His commitment to civil rights and racial equality ultimately carried him to congress, where he served as a U.S. representative for Alabama’s 5th congressional district for over 30 years. John Lewis’ legacy represents the commitment to America’s original truths- those which we hold to be self evident, that all men are equal and so must be their access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As a champion of civil rights, in an effort to break free of America’s dark history of racial violence and intolerance to look ahead to a brighter future, by adding my name I hereby propose the name John Lewis High School to replace its former name.

Dillema Magazine
118 supporters