Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 5, 2013

What’s in a name?: Calls continue for teams to change American Indian mascot names


Time to re-examine?

Superintendent Woodworth, on the job since July 2012, is keenly aware of how touchy a subject the Redskins nickname is in this 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 has not personally received any comments about the GHS mascot/nickname, although she does 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.”

Younghans said he believes the nickname issue belongs with the school board and superintendent, not in the principal’s office.

“As a principal, I’ve chosen not to take it on,” Younghans said. “It’s an investment of time and with what my job entails, I’m not willing to fight that battle and feel there are greater issues in education to be addressed.”

School board president Jane Troup seems to feel much the same.

“Right now we are so concerned with the grades and safety of the students that (the Redskins nickname is) not even an issue that has crossed my mind,” Troup said. “I know it’s one of our goals to look at that at some point, but right now we really have to work on getting our scores up. ... To me, that’s the name of the game right there.”

Troup said she can remember doing the “Tomahawk Chop,” along with the rest of the student body, at sporting events when she was a student at GHS. The chop has been phased out, she said. Troup also pointed to efforts to de-emphasize the Indian head logo.

If there was pressure to change the nickname, Troup said it would simply be a matter of the board voting one way or the other.

“I’m not really sure what the reaction would be in Goshen,” Troup said. “Its always been the Goshen Redskins. ... My gut feeling is that it would probably be the graduates who went to Goshen a long time ago who would probably have the hardest time with changing the mascot.”

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

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