Outside The Box

Michigan school keeps Redskins mascot despite vocal opponents

After months of debate, one Michigan school district decided to stand pat with its controversial mascot, even if it offends some within the district, and many farther afield.

As reported by Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo NBC affiliate WOOD, the Paw Paw school district voted 4-3 to retain the high school’s Redskins mascot. The vote followed a heated public debate that included those supporting a name change holding signs aimed at illuminating the perceived racist roots of the Redskins name and one ‘Redskins’ supporter saying that opponents should, “mind their own business.”

The narrow, 4-3 vote carries with it significant impact, as it will bar further debate on the mascot unless state funding for the school and its programs is at risk.

Paw Paw’s decision stands in stark contrast to the Belding School District, also in Michigan, which voted to abandon the Redskins mascot in December 2016. Another district, Saranac, has previously committed to maintaining the Redskins name in 2015 and has not revisited the issue since.

Whether Paw Paw will eventually regret maintaining its longtime mascot remains to be seen. For now, the district’s traditionalists have won out, which will give opponents no choice but to accept the mascot as is.