Long-standing mascot at Wilmington school sparks controversy

EMBED </>More Videos

A battle is brewing in one Delaware school district over a long standing mascot that some consider offensive. (WPVI)

A battle is brewing in one Delaware school district over a long standing mascot that some consider offensive.

For several months, a group of students and alumni from the Conrad Schools of Science have been trying to get the school to stop using the Redskins name and mascot.

The feathered head dress and the name Redskins has been a part of their school tradition as long as anyone can remember.

"We modeled it after the Native Americans that were here before this school. The regality of the Redskins is nothing but respect," said Jeff Nichols.

Nichols is president of the school's alumni association.

He and other Conrad alumni wear their Redskins pins and clothing with pride.

"And never has there been any disrespect made to Redskins or any derogatory feelings towards Redskins. It's a feeling of pride and it's a shame that other people don't see that," said Gail Kauffman-Pollinger.

But now the 'Retire the Mascot' committee - made up of students, teachers and parents - is looking into changing the name because of its possible derogatory connotation.

"We have to look at what does it mean to use race as our mascot?" said Kim Dorda.

"If one person takes offense to it, I feel like that's enough," said Bryce Fender

Charles Luppy is Native American. He's heard the term used as a racial slur.

"But everything I've seen here at this school is pride, loyalty and truth," said Luppy.

These students understand the origin but feel it's time to make the change.

"It doesn't negate the other people who do find offense to it and have started an initiative to change it, not just in the school setting. There is even a petition to change the Washington Redskins," said Lisa Holden.

The discussion to change the name of the school's mascot will continue into next school year.

The alumni association plans to have about 100 people at Wednesday's school board meeting to express their concerns.
Related Topics:
educationschooleducationdel. newshigh schoolWilmington
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)