Dear Editor,

Representatives Adam Miller(D-Columbus) and Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) recently introduced a resolution encouraging Ohio schools to retire the use of Native American mascots arguing that they are “hurtful stereotypes”.

I take issue with this characterization and would contend that the use of these mascots honors Native Americans and tends to spur conversations as to the rich history of indigenous peoples. I have yet to personally encounter anyone who views these mascots as “hurtful stereotypes,” but quite the opposite, sighting these mascots as proud symbols worthy of representing the “fighting spirit” and pride of the schools they represent.

Why else would they have been chosen as mascots in the first place? A consequence of labeling these mascots as hurtful and then removing them essentially re-writes, if not erases history.

Representatives Miller and Miranda should be addressing the real problems our schools are facing, students not graduating, student drug abuse, absent parents, parental drug abuse, parental incarceration, homelessness and hunger, just to name a few.

Clearly, Representatives Miller and Miranda haven’t examined the “grade cards” of Ohio schools lately; if they had, they would discover many districts are failing and thus failing our children. How many of the above-mentioned actual problems would be solved or improved upon by eliminating these perceived “hurtful stereotypes;” the answer is none.

We have serious problems facing our schools that require serious people to solve these problems. I agree that there are no easy fixes, otherwise they would have been solved by now. Manufacturing a problem such as the “school mascot” issue and then riding in on the proverbial “white horse” to save the day from a non-issue only serves to distract us from the fact that there are real problems our elected officials are failing to address.

Representatives Miller and Miranda (or any other elected official) should understand re-writing or erasing history for political gain is shameful and solves nothing.

Michael Agosta


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