Less than nine months after removing the mascot of a Native American man in a feathered headdress, the Bellefonte Area School District of Centre County will return to being known as the “Red Raiders," which the school had been known as for 80 years prior to the two April 2021 motions.
The lively debate between the community members and the board over the issues took place over a four-hour long Zoom meeting.
"For the last few years you have been presented with overwhelming and factual research on this injustice and inequity,” said Kathy Fletcher of Walker Township, said to the board during the Zoom meeting. “White culture must stop using Native American or indigenous symbolism in irresponsible and ignorant ways. Your students don’t even know what tribes or nations these people claim they’re trying to honor. This is regionally incorrect and very offensive.”
But only 10 community members voiced similar opinions.
Ultimately the board cited budget issues as rebranding efforts were previously estimated to cost over $100,000.
The motions to return to the racist motto and imagery pass 6-2.
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