Help Name Taconic High School Mascot After Controversial Change
In August of 2020, the Pittsfield School Committee voted to remove the "Braves" mascot from Taconic High School. Its replacement has yet to be determined, but the school is now asking for the public's help.
Last year the Pittsfield School Committee voted 5-1 in support of the removal of the Braves name, with only committee member Daniel Elias voting against the change.
Before the vote, School Committee members mentioned they had been inundated with emails from school and community members, arguing both sides of the coin. They also heard from folks who again argued both sides during the public comment hearing before the vote.
The bottom line for members voting to change the mascot was, "Is the mascot honoring Native Americans?" Elias, the sole vote against the change, said he believed that the Braves mascot was not demeaning but rather honored Native Americans from the area.
In 2020, student William Garrity, then an incoming junior at the high school, suggested the name Bravehearts to keep the original name alive but removing the reference to Native Americans.
Recently the Pittsfield School District linked up with HEARD Strategy & Storytelling, a marketing and communications services agency, who offered pro bono rebranding services to any Massachusetts high school who made the decision to change their mascot.
In a collaborative effort between HEARD and Taconic High School Mascot Subcommittee produced the idea for a community input for a period of time, with the goal of gathering the public's opinion for the subcommittee to consider.
Give your input here.
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