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Poll: Do You Think Hall Should Get a 'Mascot Makeover'?

One group of students is lobbying to change the Warrior mascot, while another group strongly believes it should be retained.

West Hartford has the Warriors. Across town are the Chieftains. Also in town is – the Indians.

Native American names and symbols are not only associated with the high schools. There are many roads throughout town which bear Native American names.

The Hartford Courant is reporting that a debate is brewing at Hall about changing the warrior mascot. Members of the school's Action Club have deemed the current warrior logo a "stereotypical Native American at war," and find it "offensive."

In defense of the warrior, another group of students has formed "The pREZervation," in an attempt to maintain the "cultural tradition" they believe the mascot represents at Hall.

According to the Courant, Hall Principal Donald Slater will not make any decision until "all voices are heard."

It's a controversial issue, and a debate which has been waged in communities all over the country.

What do you think?

Ron Goralski May 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Or on a W.
Joey May 15, 2012 at 07:02 PM
@ Ron- you don't go to hall so you really have no idea what you're talking about. There are 90% of us, probably even more that don't want the logo changed. It's basically 10 or 15 that do want the name changed, compared to hundreds that don't. Also, most native americans do not find mascots offensive, instead they consider it an honor. As far as the reservation (our superfans) goes, we've had that name for a couple of years. This year, with our school spirit at an all time high, these kids (who don't superfan) have decided now to speak up. Dont you think that's a little weird? The Reservation has been changed, so theres no use arguing that now. However, ditching the mascot would just be doing what we've done in the past- pushing aside native americans.
Ron Goralski May 15, 2012 at 07:27 PM
It really doesn't matter what school you attend folks to be a part of this discussion. And please do not assume you understand what offends or does not offend another ethnic group or nationality based on what you've heard from a small representation. I am mearly suggesting that your wonderful school go to an outside source that has real inside knowledge of the history, traditions, etc. of the plight of the Native American. Just as most non-Jews or non-African Americans should not pretend to know what it is or was like to be a part of those groups, no one should have the audacity to claim that they understand how this may effect Native Americans. I am ONLY suggesting that you find the proper people to speak with before coming to your own conclussions. I've got to run. Thanks!
king of we ha May 15, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Please run far away Ron and don't come back. You probably live on the Conard side anyways. Can't trust people of that ilk.
king of we ha May 15, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Should we change the name of King Philip Middle School while we are at it? He was Native American. While we are at it, let's just change EVERY name and surname that has anything to do Native Americans. Maybe, just maybe, that will please everyone.
Ron Goralski May 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
@king of we ha... Learn to read... OK?
Dan Starvish May 15, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I am fairly certain that if Native Americans were overly concerned that the logo offended them, they would of spoke up by now. A few children (yes, they are still children) do not have the maturity level to think outside of the box on this one. If they want to really take on a cause I suggest the find one that will lead to impact and not cost their town thousands of dollars to replace the logo.
Derek Sanders May 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Guess What? Florida State is endorsed by a Native American Tribe. I don't think that a few students have the right to take offense to something that is not even their culture.
Judi Houpert May 16, 2012 at 12:23 AM
@Ron, since you are an adult who lives in Farmington (according to your Patch profile) I am somewhat surprised that you would take the tone that you have with the young people who have posted on this issue. In addition, according to the Farmington High football athletics web site, the high school mascot is an Indian and the logo is similar to Hall's. Perhaps you could take up this issue in your own town before you start making negative comments to your neighbors.
Stacy May 16, 2012 at 12:48 AM
This issue was raised when I was a junior or senior at Hall. But when they looked at Conard's mascot and then all the student athletes (the ones it actually affected) were spoken to about the message of the cheers we "chanted". What we were told was that as long as we didn't use the Warrior theme in a negative way, the message we'd send was that we were good sportsmen and women and there wouldn't be any further issues. As you can see, our class kept the mascot's good name in tact. I'm not sure what's sturring this issue now, almost 20 years later, but maybe, just maybe for the 10-15 students who want it changed can provide a good reason as to why. Also, I'm not sure why others should be so negative towards each other regarding this issue who don't live or who never lived in the town and don't understand its traditions and the street names and the history behind the name "the reservation", etc. We're supposed to be teaching the youth of today to be kind to each other and the messages I've read above are mean and nasty and I hope that none come from parents. Let's let these students and faculty figure it out, like we did back when I was in school.
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Holy cow! Yes I am from Farmington. I mention them TWICE above. I'm not a fan of that logo either. I only suggested bringing in Native American experts or old-timers to help out with the discussion.
Mike Lenkiewicz May 16, 2012 at 02:03 AM
As a proud parent of two Hall High grads and a longtime supporter of Hall athletics, I was tempted to respond with a detailed and analytical answer to the comments raised by those seeking to change the Hall "mascot." However, after reflecting on these comments - most particularly those of Mr. Ron Goralski - I feel obligated to respond directly to the writings of these prolific advocates. My advice to Mr. Goralski and his fellow activists: Relax. Focus your passions on something more important than the identity of the Hall High mascot. Do you really believe this is an important matter? How about if you redirect your passion and work toward something positive and productive such as caring for the sick and poor elderly, helping the homeless or supporting children from broken homes. Again, my advice is to try to relax and help others. It will be so much more of a contribution to the world and our common good. This issue of the Hall mascot, in my view, is little more than white noise - raised to public attention by self-appointed political activists who have rarely encountered a perceived "injustice" about which they are unprepared to advocate a position with the full measure of their passion. If only we could become so passionate as to help people who - right now, this minute - are hungry or without a home. What a shame.
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Ok first of all Mike, I am not an activist for this cause. And secondly, who are you to determine what is and is not important to others? I do help others Mike. I lobby for kids day and night Mike. What do you do Mike (besides telling others to relax and how to feel about certain issues)? READ what I have written once again Mike because you seem to be filling in blanks that are not there. And thank you for not being analytical. And "the sick and poor elderly"? Seriously Mike? We can't discuss one subject without you accusing us of ignoring another? Again - do not tell me how to contribute to the world. I'm doing quite well on my own Mike. Take your advice and... You have some nerve telling others how to think, feel, react, etc. What a shame.
Mike Lenkiewicz May 16, 2012 at 05:46 AM
The fact, Mr. Goralski, is that I work (in my paid profession and in many volunteer capacities) in each of the areas I mentioned in my previous message. You know nothing about me or the work I do. You should probably refrain from passing judgement on the variety and depth of the efforts I make to repair our world. You mentioned all of your work in these areas. I applaude your sense of duty to our community and your sense of obligation and outreach to those less fortunate. My point is that many people in our society spend enormous amounts of energy and time advocating for causes that, frankly, don't make much of a difference. If members of Native American tribes came to the students at Hall High and expressed a degree of discomfort or hurt with the Hall mascot, I believe the student reaction would have been to address the issue - probably to your satisfaction. However, last month, last year, last decade this issue was on no one's radar screen. We as a people have gotten so caught up with the "hobby" of advocacy that the activity has been reduced to little more than a parlor game. We pursue causes (with 100% vigor) that mean little or nothing to anyone except the advocates. These causes encourage us to do battle as citizens over issues of no consequence. Our time and energy would be better spent on matters of real consequence - helping people truly in need. To the extent you do this, I think you should be proud of yourself and thanked by me and by our community as a whole.
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM
http://www.racismagainstindians.org/UnderstandingMascots.htm
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM
http://www.uni-watch.com/2012/03/23/new-project-aims-to-challenge-native-american-imagery-in-sports/
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 01:16 PM
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." ~MLK While preserving the image of the Native American may be a hobby for some, it is a matter of dignity and pride for others. It should not be for any of us to decide the pecking order of issues that pertain to human rights. And RESPECT is a right that we should all be concerned with preserving. Regardless of the source, the issue of your school's maskot has been raised. And to say that it doesn't make a difference is not for you or I to decide. Because it does make a difference to someone. If I decide to fight for little girls to wear lacrosse helmets in Farmington, or Avon, or Glastonbury, CT - does it mean I don't care about the same issue in Melrose, MA? Nobody has the right to tell me whether or not my cause is a worthy one. I am the owner of that right.
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 01:17 PM
In my initial response to this article I suggested finding someone to help in understanding this issue better. It's gone from that to becoming an advocate for the cause. I am an advocate for open-mindedness - for looking at all angles - and for respecting the opinions of others. While doing just a few hours of research last night, I've discovered that this is indeed a huge issue to a whole lot of people. Most of them are not inside our own community so we are lead to believe that it is not important here. And while I don't know the girl in Melrose, MA who has a concussion after being drilled by a lacrosse ball, I am connected to it because it is a subject that I care about. I own that right. I own it WHEREVER girls lacrosse is being played. As much as I've enjoyed the interaction here, I have to move on. I have other hobbies to attend to.
king of we ha May 16, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Ron, you aren't welcome on the West Hartford page. Go away and go quote on Farmington's site; but nothing happens there so just keep quiet all around. I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone here. Thanks buddy.
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Did you bother reading either link above?
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM
It's upsetting that you feel the need to be so rude during an online discussion. A forum such as this is a heathy way to express ideas and viewpoints. I've learned a lot over the years from these types of interactions. I hope someday you'll learn to be respectful and maybe you will also benefit from listening and reading what others have to share.
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 02:20 PM
And I happen to love West Hartford. I spent every weekend there with my grandparents as a child. It's filled with beautiful memories for me.
Big Jay May 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
What do you even care. You are not from west hartford, nor did you go to hall. Take your "beliefs" and preach somewhere else. The warriors have been a proud mascot for years. Why change it now. Just because a few pansy people find it offensive. We are grooming a real pussy world for our kids. They cant do anything without being coddled. Normally I am all for changing offensive things but this is one that is just tradition and needs to stay the same.
Big Jay May 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Then take those memories, and shove off. Its people like you that are making this world unbearable to live in. Stop micro managing everything. If your kids don't go to Hall, and neither did you, just walk away with your tail between your legs, and leave with what little respect you have left. PS I did go to hall, and I am still proud to fly the WARRIOR flag
Ron Goralski May 16, 2012 at 06:24 PM
That's real nice language you use in an earlier post BIG JAY. One day soon, when you are all grown up, you're going to have to use big boy words BIG JAY. And how in the world am I losing respect here? By making a few comments that you obviously haven't digested very well? Or by leaving a couple of links with information that we should all know before attacking each other on this subject? I'm confused BIG JAY. I'm actually more than confused now. I'm rather annoyed. I'm annoyed that I'm being attacked for suggesting that people in the community look a little deeper into the subject before locking it back into a closet. Do you have children of your own BIG JAY? I do. And I teach them to think before they write or speak. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always follow my own rules. But I do treat others with respect. And BIG JAY, if we can come away with one thing from our little discussion today, I hope that it's you understanding that you should really respect what others have to say. You don't have to agree with them - but at least understand what they are presenting to you. OK? Good. And easy with the "p-word" dude.
Judi Houpert May 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Things I love about Patch: each town has its own forum to get news and discuss issues relevant to residents of the town. Thing I don't like about the Patch: people who are not residents contributing antagonistic and bullying comments on issues that are none of their business.
king of we ha May 17, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Could not agree more Judi. If you don't live in West Hartford, go to your own site and stay out.
d harrington June 16, 2012 at 01:39 AM
http://richardtford.law.stanford.edu/books/the-race-card As a Hall alumnus I take issue that as a Warrior we were racists. A Warrior is a proud leader and protector of his tribe, his people, his land, and his traditions! In this day and time I would hope that our children would embrace that tradition and be proud to emulate the strength and loyalty of a Warrior. Its easy to play the race card and in doing so these students took the easy low road, and whats worse the adults in the administration bought it and supported it. Shameful, and in no way should reflect on the alumni! C -
d harrington June 16, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Fyi..the link I posted is an overview, a one paragraph read. Worth a look.
Emily Streim August 10, 2012 at 09:19 AM
I am very impressed by the students who stepped up in addressing this issue in the first place. The students who initiated the analysis of the mascot logo did a ton of research, speaking with local parents, students, teachers, and people who identify with certain Native American tribes. The idea is not that these kids find the use of a Native American symbol inappropriate. Rather, it is that they found the logo to be stereotypical and non-representative of the true nature, culture, and beliefs of those identifying as Native American. These students have been needlessly attacked by their peers and their elders. It's true: the logo is not meant to trivialize the Native American. Rather, it is meant to glorify the warrior. This does not mean, however, that everyone recognizes the meaning behind the logo. It can be found insulting and misguided. I am a former Hall graduate, and I still have--and wear--various sports teams' shirts and sweatshirts that bear the warrior logo. But my allegiance to my high school and my teams is not based on the existence on one picture. Changing the logo may in fact be a good thing--it will be more inclusive of all those who have any connection with Hall High School. People cannot be afraid of change. Otherwise we are always stuck with what we already have--good or bad. Please. these kids are being bullied by people they know and by total strangers. I ask that people have the common decency to respect the students who decided to act on their beliefs.

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