Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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June 4, 2013

Goshen superintendent explains reversal on chief's removal

GOSHEN —  Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Diane Woodworth has issued a statement about why a decision to remove a wooden Native American chief statue has been reversed.

The chief was removed from the upper deck of the school gymnasium Thursday and a firestorm of comments broke out on social media sites about the removal. The school administration said the statue was removed before graduation so that people attending graduation and who object to the schools nickname of “Redskins” would not be offended.

News leaked out Monday night that the removal decision would be reversed and the chief will be reinstalled in the upper deck before Sunday’s graduation ceremony.

Here is what Woodworth said this afternoon about the reversal:

“The decision has been made to place the statue of the Native American Chief back in the GHS gym before graduation. The intent was never to be divisive to the community or to the graduates, rather it was meant to honor the past guidelines from the Athletic Council as well as the differing views on this subject. “However, at this point it appears that this will detract from the graduation ceremonies of the class of 2013, which is not the desire of anyone in the school community. The class of 2013 deserves to be honored for their accomplishments without any side agenda at the commencement ceremony.

“This subject will be discussed further this summer to decide on next steps to be taken in regards to the GHS mascot.”

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