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Barnstable, Hanover high schools to retire mascots depicting Native American imagery

The Hanover High boys basketball team celebrated after winning the state championship in 2017.
The Hanover High boys basketball team celebrated after winning the state championship in 2017.Matthew J. Lee

Barnstable and Hanover high schools both voted to retire their mascots depicting Native American imagery, the schools announced Wednesday night.

At Barnstable, three of the five school committee members voted in favor of changing the school’s Red Raider mascot, while the two other members abstained. The Hanover School Committee reached a unanimous vote to retire the school’s Indian mascot, a week after hearing from local Native Americans, school staff, and students who advocated for a change.

Both schools are in the process of choosing a new mascot.

“I think it is time to retire the Red Raider as our mascot,” said Kathy Bent, a member of Barnstable’s School Committee. “We can take our time coming up with a new mascot, but that certainly should not be a decision we make as a school committee, but one that the community makes.”

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After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a group called Barnstable High School for Change wrote a letter to school and district administration in an effort to change the Red Raider mascot and eliminate the school’s “Have a Red Raider Day” greeting. The letter has been signed by 1,800 alumni and community members as of Friday.

“The district and BHS cannot fully provide support for marginalized Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities if the mascot of the district is one that appropriates and disrespects a culture,” the letter said.

Barnstable’s logo is currently a capital “B” with feathers and the words “Pride, Respect, Honor.” Hanover has a capital “H” with a Native American war bonnet draped over it.

North Quincy High School, which also goes by the Red Raiders nickname, is in the process of changing its mascot as well.