Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 5, 2013

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


‘Never liked the term’

Bob Duell was elected to the school board this past November, but served many years as GHS principal and assistant superintendent for the corporation. Speaking from his own experience, not as a current school board member, Duell said he had some teachers and community members come to him in the past who thought the term “Redskins” was offensive, but nobody really pressed the issue beyond that. Students, he remembered, were always pretty apathetic toward the nickname.

“When I was assistant superintendent we had a student that was from an Indian reservation who spent a year here,” Duell said. “I actually knew her because she lived with my son, who was a youth pastor. She was a quiet, shy person so didn’t say much, but I believe she told my son that (Redskins) was offensive but she wasn’t going to say anything since she was new.”

Duell said some of the toning down of the Indian images may have been the result of a committee formed by former Superintendent Kent Evans more than a decade ago. Duell said he was not on that committee. Duell also said there are radio announcers who broadcast Goshen sporting events who don’t use, or limit the use of, the term Redskins.

“The only view I will give you,” Duell said, “is that I have never liked the term from the time I was in high school in New York and that was a long time ago.”

Duell declined to answer on whether he favored a change, stating that any type of action on the current nickname would be a decision made by many people.
“It is a very tough issue,” he said, “and has many strong feelings in both directions.”

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