Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 5, 2013

Replacement of mascot statue the right thing to do


— Sometimes it is tough to do the right thing. And sometimes the right thing has to be done at the right time to achieve lasting change. That’s how we feel about the removal, and now the replacement of, the Native American Indian statue in the Goshen High School gymnasium.

Trying to follow the guidelines of the Athletic Council that decided some years ago to move away from overt displays of Indian-head logos and such, Goshen school administrators decided to remove a wooden statue of a Native American Thursday from the upper deck of the gymnasium. The idea was to put the chief away until after graduation so no one attending Sunday’s graduation would be offended by the statue.

But that action was reported on social media and in the mainstream press, and GHS alumni inundated school officials with comments against the removal. On Tuesday Superintendent Diane Woodworth announced the chief will be placed back in his remote corner of the gym before graduation. Her reasoning was that the removal would detract from the upcoming graduation ceremonies. We think the replacement of the chief was the right thing to do at this time.

Sunday’s graduation should be about just one thing: the wonderful achievements of the graduates. The students should receive their few hours in the sun for their accomplishments and not be burdened by decisions they had nothing to do with.

Goshen residents and GHS alumni should celebrate Sunday the achievements of hundreds of our young people. But, later this year the community should gather for discussions about why we cling to this mascot name and if we, as a community, can justify its continued use.