School Committee Votes to Change Taconic Braves Mascot
Yesterday' the Pittsfield School Committee voted to remove the "Braves" mascot from Taconic High School. Its replacement has yet to be determined.
According to The Berkshire Eagle, the vote passed 5-1, 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.
A decision has not been made on what the new mascot will be and there was no indication from the Committee as to when that decision would be made. However, William Garrity, an incoming junior at the high school, suggested the name Bravehearts to keep the original name alive but removing the reference to Native Americans.
After the completed vote on the Taconic mascot, the committee turned their attention the mascot at Pittsfield High School - the Generals. Although there are currently no plans to change the other city high school's mascot (the agenda item was voted down unanimously) there is a commitment to look further into the history of the name Generals.
Committee member Mark Brazeau agreed to research the term and present his findings at the next regular session meeting.