G-E-T Retires "Redmen" Logo, What's Next?

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Topic on May 15, 2010 09:53 AM

The G-E-T School District will no longer use the Redman mascot or nickname. The decision came after the school board voted to retire the Indian logo at the end of July.

G-E-T's school board president says the new Wisconsin law that targets racist or discriminatory school mascots and logos did weigh-in on the district's decision to retire its Indian mascot.

The district says it will be taking things one step at a time, but many can't help but think ahead to the future.

The schools board's decision to get rid of the "Redmen" mascot and "Chief Decorah" logo will take effect this summer because the high school's athletic season runs through mid July. Now, the school board can take the next step forward.

"Gathering information from all the stakeholders and getting ideas for new nickname and logo and then begin to narrow that process down," said G-E-T Principal, Chuck Forster.

While a new law has been signed and decision has been made, still not everyone agrees on it.

"We all knew it was going to change. I don't think people were happy about it, because no one likes when the state comes in a forces your hand," said Nichi McDonald.

McDonald has a daughter who is of Native American decent, and says her daughter was proud of the logo. McDonald says retiring the logo is neither good or bad, but rather a missed opportunity.

"I think with the Redmen logo and Chief Decorah being such a prominent person from around here that the G-E-T school district could really make themselves shine as a school of multi-cultures," said McDonald.

G-E-T's high school principal says the decision was a long and thoughtful process carried out by the school board that started long before the new law was signed. He says many student understand why it was necessary.

"They, like many in the community, were very attached to their logo and perhaps are sad to see it go. On the other hand, they understand that as the state law changed that we would change as well," said Forster.

After the mascot is retired this July, all logos will be removed from the high school and some new athletic uniforms will need to be purchased. The search for a new Mascot will begin by this fall.

G-E-T's principal says he's working with staff and students and is optimistic both groups will play a role in choosing a new mascot for the school.

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