W-F School Board retires ‘Indians’
Community involvement sought in choosing new mascot
By Angie Landsverk
All board members were present, and there was no discussion prior to the vote.
“So now we move ahead and give the students what they want, which is a mascot to rally around,” board member Richard Wagner told the Waupaca County Post.
District Administrator Phillip Tubbs said how to proceed with choosing a new name and image for the high school mascot will begin at the board’s November committee meeting.
That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9.
Board meetings are being held virtually via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community involvement is planned in the upcoming process of choosing a new mascot.
The board’s idea is to first choose a name and then an image or logo to accompany it.
Monday’s action officially retires a name and image the high school had not been using for its mascot.
The W-F district phased out using the word “Indians” on both athletic and band uniforms a number of years ago.
It began using a W-F swoosh instead.
Tubbs previously noted the only way it was seen in the district was on things from the past.
This week’s vote followed several months of discussion.
The discussion began after the Wisconsin Association of School Boards met in January for its annual state education convention.
The convention included a resolution to ban Native American mascots and nicknames in the state.
The resolution failed 101 to 218, leaving the issue up to local control.
W-F’s school board considered placing an advisory referendum on the Nov. 3 ballot, as a way to get input from the community.
However, the district’s legal counsel said in August that the district does not need the community’s consent to retire its Native American mascot.
Attorney Greg Gill Sr. further noted the potential for liability would not go away, regardless of the outcome of an advisory referendum.