WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK (WETM-TV)- Due to racial profiling becoming a strong topic in today’s society, schools across the nation are starting to rethink their school mascot and the message behind it.
In a post written by FingerLakes1.com, ‘A new bill aims to strip funding from school districts with race or ethnically-based mascots. That bill, which was proposed by New York State Senator Pete Harckham, of Westchester County, defines mascots as a person, animal, or object derived from a specific race or ethnicity.’
18 News received a full statement from Watkins Glen Athletic Director, Rod Weeden, and he stated:
We are in the beginning stages of discussions related to our school mascot. I’m currently gathering information at the request of the school board, so they are better informed about what the potential impacts are if changes occur. They will be discussing historical background and looking at any financial impacts related to a change. We are fully aware of the emotional ties people have with mascots. In light of what is happening around the nation, I think this is a prudent thing to do. We could be given a directive from the state and we want to be prepared for that. On a more human level, I think this is a discussion we need to have. Outside of financial concerns there is bigger question related to the potential perpetuation of any negative impacts our mascot may have on a race of people. We are first and foremost an educational institution and we should be having educated discussion about hot topics such as this so we can become better. We all want to do and be better role models for our communities children.
The Odessa File also stated that the Odessa-Montour School has reopened conversations about using the Senecas and Indians as their respective mascots.