Taconic High School is changing its school mascot. Its sports teams will no longer be known as the Braves. The School Committee on Wednesday voted to change the 50-year-old team mascot and to move forward with the process of coming up with a new, more culturally acceptable mascot for the school.

One might think that this is certainly not going to be a smooth process. How do students feel about changing their long-time mascot? What do most parents think? What will the new mascot be? Do the students get any say at all? These are some of the questions that will need to be asked, answered, and explored going forward.

The vote came during a remote meeting of the Pittsfield School Committee on Wednesday evening.

I think this is going to be very divisive and very upsetting for this school… It is just a very difficult decision to come to and it feels like all the decisions during this time are difficult. ~ Chairwoman Katherine Yon

 

According to an article on IBerkshires.com, Taconic is one of only about 29 high schools in the state (down from 40) still using Native American logos, and one of just two in the Berkshires. Over the years, many schools and colleges have switched to new logos because of concerns that those logos and mascots are derogatory to Native Americans.

The committee had thought about changing the school’s mascot -- depicted as a male Native American in a head dress -- back in 2017 with the opening of the new Taconic but at the time it apparently didn’t gain any traction.

Taconic is not the only high school in Pittsfield that is facing pressure to make a mascot change. Some say that the Pittsfield High School Generals should change their name too, because in their opinion “Generals” connotates violence. 

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