Petitions created for and against changing Powhatan High School mascot from the Indians

School district says name change hasn’t been discussed
Updated: Oct. 15, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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POWHATAN, Va. (WWBT) - Many local school districts are trying to decide whether to change their mascots. One of those is Powhatan County, where there are now two petitions over the high school’s mascot. One student-led petition to change the name of the Powhatan Indians had about 150 signatures Thursday afternoon, another against the name change had more than 1,600 signatures at the same time.

The school district says there isn’t a discussion of changing the mascot name or mascot itself.

Carleton Finney is in favor of changing the Powhatan Indian name.

“I don’t see anything wrong with changing the name on it...the Indians look at it as belittling on them, insulting them by calling a football team ‘the Indians,’” said Carelton Finney.

Almost everyone else wanted to keep the mascot the same.

“I think it would be utterly ridiculous because Powhatan is an Indian tribe and they’re Indians, and unfortunately we live in Powhatan County, so it doesn’t make any logical sense at all,” said John Salgado.

“I’m 70 years old and there seems to be such a rush to change everything,” said Mike Herbert.

“Well, you know, there’s a whole lot of things in our world that’s gonna be hurtful,” said Gloria Sexton.

The district says it has had no discussion of changing the name.

In Henrico County, the Indian mascot has been discussed; back in July, the district sent out a survey to John Rolfe Middle School parents asking their opinion of the middle school’s Indian mascot. Henrico Schools says nothing else has been done.

The Hanover County School Board voted this week to change the name of two of its schools, Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School to Mechanicsville High School and Bell Creek Middle School.

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