North Brookfield To Keep Native American Mascot After New Vote

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NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The North Brookfield School Committee voted to keep its controversial Native American mascot for its schools, reversing a vote from late last year.

In December 2020, the committee voted unanimously to retire and replace the mascot, but when an almost entirely new school committee took charge this year, they decided to reverse this decision. The new vote saw the one incumbent member of the committee vote no.

Jake Messier of HEARD Strategy said the decision was prompted after his company sent a poll out to residents to help them choose the new mascot.

HEARD Strategy specializes in rebranding mascots that could be deemed offensive was working with the town to help them rebrand.

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"They put it back out to a community vote and I think when they sent out the questionnaire of 'what do you want to choose between these two?', that touched off a pretty significant firestorm," Messier said.

Townspeople in support of the old mascot, that had been in place since the 1950s, said the mascot was meant to honor Native Americans.

During the vote last year, a group of Native American activists said the mascot and ones like it only serve to reinforce negative stereotypes.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) has the story.

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