BOE decides to change Killingly HS mascot

Windham

KILLINGLY, Conn. (WTNH) — For more than 70 years, Killingly High School teams were known as the Redmen. But that is about to change and so will the images on sports uniforms and around the school.

There is a mascot logo at the center of the gymnasium floor.

Killingly High football uniforms have Redmen written across the shirts and an Indian in a feathered headdress on the helmets.

“We thought it was pretty cool but as the years go by we realize you know I realize that maybe it’s not a good thing,” said Killingly High School alumna Denise Gadreau.

The total cost to change all images could be about $40,000.

“It was never the intent to be disrespectful,” said Steven Rioux, Superintendent of Killingly Schools. “But taking this opportunity to move forward with a new a tradition for Killingly High School.”

The Board of Education decided to drop the Redmen mascot after hearing from members of the Nipmuc Nation.

Eric Gould and his father Ken who is tribal chairman have always said they are against mascots in all forms even if the group using the mascot thinks it honors Native Americans.

“What is a mascot? A mascot is like a good luck charm, an animal, a mythical being, it’s not a race of people, it’s not a culture,” said Gould.

Some who proudly wore the Redmen uniform didn’t want change.

“Doesn’t magically delete everything that they did,” said Gould.

The next step is to pick a new mascot which will be decided by surveying the community and creating a committee.

“I don’t know. What do you think, John?” Gadreau asked her grandson John Downing. “A tiger,” the fourth grader suggested.

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