Find Out How to Give Input on the Watertown High School Mascot

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The four finalists for the Watertown High School mascot. The School Committee has put up an online survey to collect input from the community.

The four finalists for the Watertown High School mascot. The School Committee has put up an online survey to collect input from the community.

The final four options for the Watertown High School mascot – or logo – that will go with the Raiders nickname were presented to the School Committee this week, and they seek input from the public about the finalists.

The School Committee has set up an online survey for the community to give its input about the four images.

The finalists are: a knight riding a horse into battle, a knight’s helmet with “Raiders” on the grill, a shield with a “W” on it, and a knight standing behind a shield.

Take the WHS Mascot Survey by clicking here.

Students at the high school will be surveyed by the School Committee High School Representatives. The School Committee will consider the input from the online survey and from the high school when it makes the final decision at its Nov. 13 meeting.

The Process

The search for a new mascot started over the summer with the creation of the Ad Hoc Mascot Screening Committee. The members included WHS staff, students, parents, alumni and parents, said School Committee Vice Chair Kendra Foley, who chaired the Mascot Screening Committee.

Last spring, the group accepted dozens of ideas and sketches for what the new mascot would look like. Over the summer, the proposals were narrowed down and earlier in October the Screening Committee chose the top four.

Three of the mascot images include a shield, and Foley said that the shield has different meanings, including a lowered shield is welcoming, while a raised one is shows strength. She added that the shield was important to the Ancient Greeks, who said a helmet and spear are to protect an individual, but a shield protects the whole line.

One student on the Screening Committee suggested the school have Shield Awards for achievements in athletics, on the robotics team, in a musical and other activities at WHS, Foley said.

She told her colleagues on the School Committee “a mascot has just one job: to unify. Too often we talk about the ideas that divide us.”

Previous Mascot

As the proposals for a new mascot have been publicized many have asked why Watertown is searching for a new mascot, saying they like the old one.

The image of a cartoon dancing Indian has been associated with Watertown High School, but officially the school has not had a mascot, or logo, since the 2000s. Team uniforms had “W”s or the word Raiders on them. The Indian, however, is still used by Watertown youth sports and on unofficial items representing the high school.

The School Committee has been uncomfortable with any Native American imagery because some feel it is offensive, and fearing having such a mascot could open it up to a civil rights suit. Other schools and colleges around Massachusetts and the nation have changed their mascots over the past few decades.

Two years ago, the School Committee explored the idea of choosing a new mascot, but in the end decided to go with the status quo. Many alumni and students said they like the association with Native Americans and do not mean, or see any offense from such images. Others said using an Indian, particularly a caricature, is offensive to Native Americans.

At the time, School Committee members said they want to stay away from offending anyone, and also noted that the dancing Indian is an image known as “Yakoo” created by a North Quincy High School students in the 1950s. School Committee members also wanted to stay away from trademark issues.

Last year, Interim Superintendent John Brackett decided to restart the search for a new WHS mascot. He said he heard repeatedly from current students that they want something to put on T-shirts, hats and other items representing the high school besides the “W” or Raiders. That led to the creation of the Mascot Screening Committee.

11 thoughts on “Find Out How to Give Input on the Watertown High School Mascot

  1. This whole thing is useless, unnecessary and being pushed by a small minority of unnamed people that wish to enforce their will on the rest of the town.

    I challenge those people to name themselves who are in support of changing decades of tradition. Don’t be cowards. Name yourselves and stand up for what you believe is right. We are

  2. Okay, here I am! I am in support of changing what you call “decades of tradition.” But I would call it “decades of oppression” – and I’m all in on changing that.

    • Thank you for at least being honest. “Decades of Oppression”? Who’s being oppressed by a mascot?

      Should we take the Native American Indian off of the State flag? Is Massachusetts oppressing Native Americans because of the State Seal? The notion of oppression in this case is ridiculous. Especially since no Native Americans are complaining but rather privileged Cambridge transplants.

      • Hey John, cut the garbage with the “privileged Cambridge transplants” nonsense. Stick to reasoned arguments or keep quiet. This town belongs to all who live here, not just you. When I hear the BS about Cambridge I know enough to disregard everything that follows. It seems to me that there is a lot of support for a change in mascot. So be it.

  3. Charlie, this isn’t about a new mascot or logo for the WHS. It’s about the control of others and what they should think in their own personal minds. It’s dangerous, it threatens our freedoms, and it should be fought hard against. It’s already gone way too far in this country. Charlie, these are the facts. This all started with some WHS site council members secretly meeting to push this change back in the spring of 2014. There was no outreach to the parents, alumni, or residents for input. When I learned of it, I made a request to the HS principle that I be permitted to attend these meetings. I attended every meeting in 2014 and in the beginning of 2015 until I was excluded due to my opposition to the groups’ intent. You see Charlie, if you disagree, you are excluded or removed. That’s the way it is now. The plagiarized Native American Indian logo came up several times and I offered a potential solution. The NQH headmaster had written a letter to the WHS headmaster in the past requesting that Watertown stop using their logo. I suggested that a letter be co-written by the Watertown School Superintendent, the WHS Principle, and the AD and sent to all local merchants who supply apparel to Watertown youth sports organizations requesting that they stop printing the NQH logo. Guess what? The letter was never written and sent. That would have removed the small shred of controversy that this group relied on to try to justify what they wanted to push on everyone in the town. They failed to ram it through at the end of the 2015 school year due to fierce opposition by the students, alumni, and residents, (see WHDH Channel 7 archives). Now they are back at it again. They simply cannot accept and live with any other viewpoint other than their own. They are intolerant of any who are not in agreement with their PC liberal agenda. Your statement that “they want something to put on T-shirts, hats and other items representing the high school besides the “W” or Raiders.” is contradictory since one of the four finalist options is a “W” with the Raider name.

  4. My mascot was and always will be the ORIGINAL Native American. Did anyone from the Native American Community ACTUALLY say they were offended by this depiction? Our ORIGINAL MASCOT has been held dear to many of us and I don’t ever recall ANYONE being offended. If anyone was offended, it wasn’t publicized.

  5. If “offensive” is the name of the game, then the “Knight” should be offensive to those of English descent, as he is “branded” a “Raider”.

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