The Natick School Committee will most likely not be involved in the Natick High School mascot name change as it was 2007. Current Chairman David Margil, who is running for reelection, said during the Natick Forever School Committee Candidate Forum on Wednesday that it is written that it's up to the school principal to decide.
Natick High School principal Rose Bertucci announced in February that she is looking for suggestions to replace the current "Red and Blue" team name, which was introduced in 2009 after the original "Redmen" name was deemed offensive to Native Americans. Bertucci said that she will not consider reintroducing the Redmen name, a statement which is causing much controversy amongst those who want to bring back the tradition.
When the School Committee made the decision to eliminate the name in 2007, they were able to do so by deeming that "Redmen" was in violation of the school system's mission and values, said Margil. The committee would only get involved this time around if the new name were also to be deemed to be in violation.
Both Margil and Firkins Reed, who is also running for School Committee in the March election, agreed that while the public should have input, Natick Schools should steer clear of the "Redmen" name when choosing a new mascot for the new high school when it opens in the Fall.
"It's not fair to the students to say they can't compete or be excellent with any name that they choose and the community supports," said Margil, who was a part of the Natick High School track and cross country teams in the 1980s. "I think it's time for the new students going into the school to create their own legacy and their own name."
Reed said that it is the principal's job to enforce the school policies. "A name cannot be chosen that is in violation of school policy," she said. "As long as a name does not violate school policy and is something students and staff of the school agree upon and the principal approves, that's great."
What do you think about the name change? Are you in support of something new or are you in support of the original name? Tell us in the comments section!