KILLINGLY, Conn. (WTNH) — Killingly High School football is a source of pride for many.
The team’s playoff run continues and so does talk around town about the long-time mascot which was changed this summer.
“I work in a barbershop and I have a lot of people who come in and are really discussing it,” said Killingly High School graduate Richard Baker. “I would say it’s about 90% to change it back to the Redmen really.”
In June, the Redmen mascot was removed from the high school and the football uniforms. In October, the mascot was replaced by the Red Hawks, and next week the Board of Education with a few newly elected members could vote to change it back to Redmen.
“I hope so,” said Baker. “If they do change it back it will be a feather in the new board that took over.”
According to the agenda for Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, the Native American Guardian Association, which has supported positive images of Native Americans as mascots, will speak before the board votes.
“I think it was fine the way it was,” said Killingly resident Tom Coder.
The public will also be able to comment.
“I don’t think it demeaned anybody; I don’t think it made anybody feel bad,” said Coder.
Members of the nearby Nipmuc tribe have told the board it opposes Native American people being used as a mascot even if it is seen as a symbol of strength.
“I take pride in it, but I can see why it’s offensive and why people wouldn’t want that to be our mascot name,” said Killingly High School graduate Haley Farnsworth.
Because the town expects so many people at next Wednesday’s meeting it is holding the board of education meeting in the auditorium at Killingly High School to accommodate the crowd.
“Should be the way it’s always been I think,” said Killingly resident Mary Pechie.
She plans to be at the meeting and said the Redmen mascot is not meant to be demeaning.
“No it is not,” said Pechie. ” It never has been.”
However, some did support the change.