I feel like a lot of people in Skowhegan are losing their minds over a high school mascot. I graduated from Skowhegan High School, lived in that town until I was 30 and have lived through a mascot change in another district.

The Livermore Falls Andies, whose mascot deeply rooted in that town’s history, and the Jay Tigers not only had to give up their mascots, but they were also rival teams dating back to the 1930s. Now they attend combined schools and sit together in math class.

They needed decide together on new school colors, a name and mascot. They chose the Phoenix, which is appropriate for that tri-town community. It wasn’t easy, but they did it with class and dignity.

I am appalled and embarrassed for my home town. Why wouldn’t they want a mascot everyone can be proud of? Is all the hate and discontent worth it? Mud has been flung and insults thrown from both sides. Does anyone have a good feeling after that?

The pro-mascot people say they want to honor the Indians, and I believe that was true. But they’ve been told it’s not a way to honor them, so why not change it? It can be done, and I know the kids would enjoy choosing a new mascot if their parents would stay out of it and allow them to.

I don’t want to believe that their attachment to and fight about a word would let it define the community, but that’s what’s happening. Skowhegan is better than that, and the residents should prove it. Who will have the courage to stand up and say, “Enough!”

Gina Dawes

Hillsboro, Ore.

formerly of Skowhegan

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