Contributed by Monica Padula
Paw Paw (MICH.)-On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Paw Paw will see the school board vote on retaining or retiring the mascot (Redsk*n). For the past year this issue has been pursued relentlessly, pushing the board to make a decision as posed by Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media.
The public is invited to attend this hearing at 7 p.m., at Paw Paw High School in the cafeteria (30609 Red Arrow Highway, Paw Paw, MI).
The board will vote at the end of the meeting, and any are welcome to speak at public comment. We need to hold the school board accountable for the discrimination, racism, and inequality towards Indigenous children and their communities experience as a result of condoning race-based stereotypes and an offensive slur such as Redsk*n.
There are numerous resolutions that speak to our efforts to retire race-based mascots and names, including the Michigan State Board of Education, the NAACP, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and others. Attached is the school’s non-discrimination policy, which is not inclusive of Native people, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s resolution against the name (which is the tribe who services the Paw Paw area).