WAKEFIELD (UKTN) – Residents of Wakefield voted Tuesday night to retain their school’s mascot “Warrior” logo. The image of a Native American was rejected by the school committee last March. This caused such an uproar that it was put to a non-binding citywide vote.
“It has become a huge controversy. I also think this is indicative of what we see across the country, we see a country divided and unfortunately we see it here in our community today too, ”said city council candidate Brandon Flanagan.
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The town of Wakefield’s annual election took place on Tuesday and question number 1 on the ballot asked whether to remove or keep the town’s Warrior logo.
It has become so controversial that some residents have fought fierce battles over it.
“Lots of name calling, a lot of cyberbullying. And this is not a good example for children, ”said Ami Ruehrwein Wall, candidate for the school committee.
The school committee has already decided to remove the logo but keep the name of the warriors.
“It’s a non-binding question, but there are people who run for town hall who just show up because of the logo issue because they want to save the logo. We feel that we don’t want to give them a data point, which is why we are trying to mobilize the city, ”said Nicole Calabrese, voting“ no ”on 1 president.
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Wakefield has learned that by around 600 votes, residents want to keep their school’s logo. The unofficial results were from 2911 to 2347.
Flanagan said he was in favor of keeping the logo. “I think it shows pride, courage and determination,” he said.
Young voters for the first time also spoke.
“I really see it as a social justice issue and we really need to make sure, as a predominantly white city, that we include indigenous voices,” said Jack Devow.
Richard Bayrd, a 92-year-old American Indian from Wakefield, said his father, Chief Eagle Claw or Leonard Bayrd, helped come up with the Warriors’ name because they were fighting to win games at the time. He thinks keeping the logo is the right thing to do because it means pride.
“There isn’t much left that they can have for Indians,” Bayrd said. “Leave us alone. Give us something.
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The referendum is non-binding, which means the new school committee might stick to its decision to remove the image, or some new members might choose to reconsider the issue.