Goshen School Board President Jane Troup, seemingly rolls her eyes at the “Redskins” controversy, practically declaring it not worthy of the board’s time and effort. While we understand each board member has other significant responsibilities, this matter should not be laughed off. The fact that trustees don’t want to talk about it speaks volumes.
Troup went on to suggest that the “Redskins” issue shouldn’t be part of the board’s focus for the upcoming school year. That focus, she said Thursday, will be concentrating on efforts to answer the following questions:
• Are the curriculum and programs up to date and relevant?
• Are the facilities desirable?
• Is Goshen Community Schools welcoming to all students?
• And how should Goshen Community Schools most effectively promote itself?
Those are a fine set questions for trustees to strive to answer. We see the “Redskins” conversation fitting into the last two questions. If “Redskins” is synonymous with “Goshen Community Schools,” the board should determine if that moniker is welcoming to “all” students. And, if Goshen Community Schools wants to most effectively promote itself, the board should ask if it wishes to continue with a potentially offensive nickname that a previous study committee already suggested be de-emphasized. If we have a de-emphasized mascot, isn’t it logical to ask, “What’s the point?”
What the board needs to understand is this issue is more about the future than it is the past. Times and sentiment are evolving. If we’re “Redskins” to the end, why not proclaim it? If it’s only a matter of time before we move on, why not prepare for it? The biggest mistake would be to flat out ignore it and end up on the wrong side of it.
The school board should facilitate a community discussion and form a transparent committee that leads further evaluation of Goshen High School’s continued use of the “Redskins” nickname. We do believe it is worthy of their time and efforts.