TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County School Board is meeting on Tuesday to discuss changing Chamberlain High School’s mascot name.
The district said it responded to requests from Native American groups to rename student mascots at both East Bay and Chamberlain High Schools.
“American Indians are human beings and not a sports mascot for fun and games,” Sheridan Murphy with the Florida Indigenous Alliance told News Channel 8. “You don’t have the Chamberlain Jews. You don’t have the East Bay Mexicans and the resulting stereotypes that come with that.”
The district said student government bodies at both schools surveyed students and met with American advocacy groups to decide if their mascots should remain.
Chamberlain’s student government recommended they drop their “Chiefs” mascot. East Bay decided to keep their current mascot, the “Indians.”
“We have alumni that are saying, ‘I get it, lets just move on’ to alumni saying ‘I’m never going to help that school out again if they take away, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard’,” said Terry Sisco of the Chamberlain High School Legacy Alliance.
Sisco suggests they “go half-and-half.”
“Create a win-win situation and stay the Chiefs but change the cultural appropriation,” he added.
The school board will meet on Tuesday to discuss the process of changing Chamberlain’s mascot. Murphy said there will be a rally in support of changing the mascot at 3 p.m., before the scheduled meeting.