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From high school principal Jason Merrill:
Dear Melrose Community,
As some of you may know, I am a proud graduate of Melrose High School. I am also a resident of Melrose and have three children in the Melrose Public Schools. As the principal of Melrose High School, I have been given one of the greatest responsibilities in this city. Not a moment goes by on any given day that I am not thinking about our school community.
That all being said, I want to share my thoughts on something that has been weighing on my mind for some time now. I believe that it is time for Melrose High School to move away from the “red raider” mascot. I want to be clear that our school community has taken admirable steps to move away from Native American imagery such as a Native American cartoon and eventually the dreamcatcher. Additionally, we know that the red raider has also been depicted as a viking, a bandit, and even has ties to a WWII fighter squadron. But, I simply cannot deny the connection between the red raider or raider and offensive Native American imagery.
I understand that this will be hard for some of our school community to hear and that some may disagree with me. This decision is not based on other people’s thinking or agendas. I am making this decision because 5 years ago I signed a contract to take responsibility for what I consider the most important building and people in our city, and I think that this is right for our school. In 2016, I said that our #1 goal will be to create and sustain a welcome environment based on kindness and respect. That remains our #1 goal and it will be as long as I am here.
We teach students to treat each other well. We talk about who came before them at MHS and what they stood for. We talk about hard work, teamwork, communication, and how to solve problems and persevere. But, most importantly, it always comes back to how you treat people.
My objective will be to roll out a collaborative plan that includes our students and community in a process to phase out the red raider and identify a new mascot during the upcoming school year.
We are Melrose. We wear red and white, and we always will.
Keep Each Other Well,
MHS principal and Class of 1996
Nice! About time! This guy seems very well reasoned, I am glad he is in charge of the High School. What do you think the next mascot will be? Can’t wait to get my new sweatshirt!
For something specifically Melrosian, it should be the Canners, in honor of Friends Baked Beans, which were made in Melrose before a factory on Eastern Ave in Malden became the center of production.
Another local reference would be the Vulcans, for the vulcanized rubber that became the basis for the rubber shoe (aka sneaker) factories in Melrose and Malden.
I propose the “Railers.” This is similar to the Raiders but is in reference to Melrose having 3 commuter rail station, and highlights the importance rail had to the development of the city.
I like that Tom, I feel like I got railed every time i get my water bill.
Way to hijack the thread…pretty lame man.
COME ON MAN!!! Don't be a Lame Duck.
What a joke. Bow to public pressure.