Redmen/Redettes should stay
To the Journal editor:
The Marquette Area Public Schools board needs to make a decision very soon. This entire name debate process has been extremely flawed from the start. Too many people with vested interests were on the original committee to fairly look at both sides of this issue. Marquette is in the middle of being torn apart and that is an absolute shame.The only fair way to proceed is the following plan:
1. Keep the Redmen/ Redettes name.
The Redmen/Redettes name has always been a source of pride. It started as we have learned because a superintendent liked the Harvard University crimson color. To choose against the majority on this issue is not trying to find common ground.
2. Formally drop the Indian head as a logo of any kind. The Indian head was added later to the Redmen name because of the amount of respect given to the Indian warriors from our region.
The logo doesn’t seem to be used anymore, but maybe this needs further clarification and documentation as neither side seems to know exactly when it was originally dropped.
3. Bullying. Deal with bullying by students, teachers and staff swiftly. It seems to me that we had a bullying issue that wasn’t taken care of properly that led to people with larger political agendas to insert the influence they wanted.The Redmen and Redettes that I personally know would gladly help if they knew a student was being bullied because they were a certain race, gender, sexual orientation or color.
4. Educate on local Native American history. The name Redmen and Redettes has always been a source of pride that can only be enhanced with more positive thought and study.
I understand that some people will not like these options, but I think this concession on both sides will help bring peace to the school and more importantly, the students.
Finally, quit using the term racist. Racist is a lazy term that immediately stops any honest dialogue about the problems going on. The people I know in Marquette are not weak, nor are they racist. They are solid, hardworking people.
Now, it’s your turn. Be strong and find the common ground.
Class of 1986
Cannon Falls, Minnesota