WHITELAND, Ind. – There is controversy brewing in one local town over the school mascot. People want to know if the Whiteland Warriors will be getting a new logo or not.
“This is a tight-knit community and everyone loves their warrior,” said Whiteland Community High School alumni Kory Wood.
The controversy started brewing last week when Wood started the “Save the Whiteland Warrior” Facebook group. He said he heard from several staff members that the school would eventually be phasing out their longtime warrior logo, getting rid of the warrior head and tribal symbols in an effort to be more sensitive to Native American culture.
“We have had confirmation from teachers, administrators, and coaches that have said we are moving away from the warrior logo and it is going to be changed to a W,” said Wood.
Within hours, the Facebook group had hundreds of likes, comments, and shares. Despite the online outrage and claims from community members, the school superintendent insists nothing will change but acknowledges the sensitivity surrounding the use of American Indian heritage to represent schools.
In a memo sent to all high school staff, Dr. Patrick Spray said, “It is not the position of the Board or district that any official changes have or will be made with respect to the Warrior as our mascot- this is contrary to what you might be reading on Facebook. It is our responsibility to take great care in how we represent this image so that it brings value, respect, and dignity both inside our own gymnasium or wherever WCHS and the Clark-Pleasant community schools are represented.”
Despite the words from Superintendent Spray, community members still showed up to express their concerns at the school board meeting Tuesday night.
The school board said they won't be changing the mascot at this time. If they do, the board will vote and ask the community for input.