Killingly residents debate fate of the high school’s Redmen mascot

Windham

A powerhouse on the field, the Redmen name is feared… but is it racist?

For 80 plus years, the mascot for Killingly High School has been the Redmen with a chief wearing feathers.

Opinions vary, and the feelings run deep.

George Lockwood of Killingly said, “It’s more of a pride and honor thing, we respect what we wear, I wouldn’t wear something I don’t respect!”

Town hall chambers filled to capacity, the overflow room packed and there was barely any room to stand. People listened to the board from the hallway, cheered and clapped as people spoke for or against the mascot.

Lamonica Vazquez of Killingly says the name ‘Redmen’ is racist and dividing the community.

Vazquez said, “Why do we have to have the whole community come in and make a big deal out of a name, and a mascot when we could all just come together as a community and say ‘you know what, just change it’!”

But generations of Redmen stood in their jerseys. Fathers, sons and grandfathers saying it is a big deal.

Kathy Williamson of Killingly said, “50 years worth of family, two generations, softball basketball football and volleyball and band.”

Killingly not the first town to take this up. Manchester cut ties with the Indian name and logo and became the Red Hawks on June 25.

The Board of Education is trying to decide what to do next. They are not going to vote on whether or not to get rid of the mascot, it looks like they want to seek advice from Native Americans in the area.

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