Photo Fairview Park City Schools
Fairview Park's school district is set to retire its previous Native American-themed Warrior mascot and replace it with a new Trojan-inspired figure.
Fairview Park is the second district to retire their Native American iconography after last year's decision to remove Chief Wahoo from the Cleveland Indians' jerseys.
Both the city's middle and high schools were using the former mascot, and both will be changed. The phase-out is estimated to be completed by 2022. The "New Warrior" (seen above) was designed by Fairview Park school parent Mark Hull.
The old mascot isn't completely going away, though. It's set to adorn various items in the school's upcoming "Warrior Room," which spotlights the school's history and alumni.
“For us this represents the beginning of a new era in the history of Fairview Park Schools,” said
Chris Vicha, principal of Fairview High School and Lewis F. Mayer Middle School. He went on to cite current renovations, a muddled brand identity, a new athletic conference and student concern as additional impetuses for the change.
In early 2018, Scene found
that 79 schools in Ohio had Native American references (now 77). The National Congress of American Indians reported
that nationwide the number is around 1,000, and that only two-thirds of "derogatory Indian sports mascots and logos" have been eliminated over the last 50 years.
Late last year, Talawanda School District Braves removed
their Native American mascot and changed their name to the more general "Brave." The decision was preceded by a six-page letter
from the Native American Rights Fund detailing the harmful effects of the mascot. The letter specifically discussed the bullying of a 2012 alumna, who faced years of harassment after revealing her Aztec heritage.
Ultimately, Fairview Park's move is laudable and hopefully will catalyze similar mascot changes across the state.
"The district had put their foot down and said that we will not be dressing anyone up like a Native American and putting them on the sidelines of events," Vacha said
. "We’re not going to do that anymore. We don’t believe in that."
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.