Goshen News, Goshen, IN

August 2, 2013

No nickname change coming for GCS

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

— GOSHEN — Will the Redskin name be changed anytime soon for the Goshen Community School Corporation?

Not for the foreseeable future, according to Goshen Board of School Trustees president Jane Troup.

“We are the Goshen Redskins and we remain the Redskins,” Troup said. “The board and administrators had a goal setting session several weeks ago.  We decided what our focus would be for the coming school year. Along with establishing goals, we determined our focus must be on educating our students.”

Troup said as a board and a school district, officials are concentrating their efforts on answering 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 families?

 •   How should Goshen Community Schools most effectively promote itself?

“We have been given the task of educating all our students,” Troup said, “and as a board we are making sure we stay focused on ensuring that all students acquire knowledge.”

News of the nickname remaining the same got a conversation started on social media.

On The Goshen News’ Facebook page several people weighed in.

“Stop worrying about it and let it be. There are other things to focus on,” said Pam Miller.

Josh Biech said, “I was and am a Redskin. I think the school corporation should focus on the real issues with education. Focus on the students and not the changing of the name and mascot.”

Emil Mitchell took things further.

“If the ages old heritage of Goshen High School is disavowed and replaced by some crock of this (now) generation, it will only serve to propagate the loss of the memory of the greatest high school alumni ever in northern Indiana and all it’s accomplishments much as some now attempt to dissuade the acknowledgement that World War II ever occurred,” said Mitchell.

The issue was addressed in a previous story in The News May 5 when Superintendent Diane Woodworth, on the job since July 2012, said she was keenly aware of how touchy a subject the Redskins nickname is in the community.

It is a name that many may find offensive, yet it is a name that thousands of Goshen High School alumni have worn proudly on their chest while representing this community on the fields and floors of competition.

While it may be a polarizing subject, Woodworth said she had not personally received any comments about the GHS mascot/nickname, although she did know of complaints registered to previous administrations. Woodworth also indicated she would be open to further discussion on the matter.

“If this concern re-emerges in our community,” Woodworth said, “perhaps it would be time to organize a study committee again to re-examine all aspects of the current GHS mascot.”

Nationally, the issue of Redskins as a nickname grabbed attention when in April three former Federal Communication Commission commissioners said the name was indecent and its use should be ceased.

Daniel Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, has gone on record saying that he won’t change the name.