As the controversy over Skowhegan Area High School’s mascot and team name shows no sign of going away, many of us are wondering about the financial cost of continuing to defend a team name that has not aged well.

School Administrative District 54, like most school districts in Maine, pays a law firm an annual retainer to cover ordinary legal costs of doing business. In an email to a taxpayer in the district, board chairwoman Dixie Ring said that Superintendent Brent Colbry estimates $15,000 has been expended so far this year on mascot-related issues.

With the school budget season upon us, I can’t help but wonder what else $15,000 could buy for students — perhaps new books, science lab equipment, or busing to tournaments? New uniforms have also been suggested, but that’s not a pressing need, since SAHS team uniforms don’t say the team name on them and haven’t for years.

As a former board member myself, I also worry about potential future legal actions, and what that might cost taxpayers. Prudent management of the district’s scarce resources for education would seem to suggest that retiring the team name soon would be a financially responsible thing, as well as just the right thing to do.


Abigail C. Norling


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