Penn Hills School District Seeks Public Input on Possible Mascot Change – WPXI


PITTSBURGH — The Penn Hills School District is seeking information on the possibility of changing its Indian mascot and removing related imagery, including spears.

“I think that should be changed because it’s disrespectful,” said Penn Hills High School student Marquese Alston.

For years, the district’s Indian mascot has been controversial.

Lately, a handful of professional sports teams have switched gears, like the Cleveland Indians, now the Cleveland Guardians.

The district is currently asking the community and alumni to explain why their mascot name should stay the same or change.

“What we tend to overlook is the ideology and lineage behind these things and what they might represent,” Darius Battles said. “A change could be either beneficial or detrimental, given why they want it changed or what other people might consider controversial.”

According to the school district, a group of student leaders from PHHS made several name suggestions, including: Big Red, Panthers, Phoenix, Pride, Redhawks and Red Storm.

“I feel like it’s not really a change if we have to name them because it’s the same thing,” Alston said.

The meeting will take place on April 13 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Penn Hills Elementary. Each speaker will have 3 minutes to present their point of view.

“I think the topic sounds ‘difficult’ because the makers understand and respect the sense of strength and courage associated with the name and imagery, and it’s these shared ideals that have contributed to our sense of community pride. No one wants to promote an “old” over the “new” Penn Hills, but many are coming to understand that retaining that name and image is at odds with our commitment to equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging for all,” said the superintendent. Dr Nancy Hines told Channel 11 in a statement.

If you can’t attend on April 13, the event will be streamed live on the PHSD website.

If you would like to submit your thoughts on a possible name change, please email District Board Secretary Nakita LaPrade at [email protected] Please indicate MASCOT in the subject line of your e-mail.


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