Decision to Retire the Mascot
DECISION TO RETIRE UHS MASCOT
On August 24, 2020, the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board voted 9-0 to retire the UHS American Indian Mascot.
The mascot discussion has been alive for many years in our schools and community. Recent events in our nation prompted us to revisit this discussion and on July 13, 2020, the UCF School Board charged administration to conduct a review of the American Indian Mascot. Supervisor of Athletics, Pat Crater, led the review and over the past few months he has been on an incredible journey meeting with many intelligent and interesting people, hearing many fascinating stories and perspectives, and learning so much about the Lenape Indians. This journey was filled with many deep and rich conversations with students, staff, alumni, and the community, a lot of listening, and the added bonus of some new friendships with members of the Lenape tribe.
During his presentation on August 17, 2020, Mr. Crater shared with the School Board that the Lenape, which means “the People” are peacemakers and wisdom keepers and that they are not to be considered relics, or figments of history used for Halloween costumes...or mascots. They are people with a rich culture which should be honored and respected.
Retiring the mascot will clear a path for the school to better honor the Lenape in respectful ways, and in ways that we, as a community, can all be proud of. We are committed to honoring the Lenape Tribe by strengthening the relationship, listening, respecting, and learning the history and culture of the Lenape; through education and incorporating their history and culture into our curriculum; and by incorporating native gardens on our campus for the purposes of education and dedication.
The process to select a new mascot will begin immediately and will include a panel of representatives from our alumni, community, staff, and students. This panel will listen to all stakeholders, but the voice of our current students will have a significant influence on this decision. Our goal will be to select a mascot that we can all be proud of, and has meaning to our community. We will use the first semester to listen, collaborate, and study different ideas - and will make our announcement in January 2021.