The March 8 headline concerning the “retirement” of the Skowhegan Indians nickname should have read as follows: “Small group of activist Native Americans, supported by elitists and people from away, bully school board into caring more for activists than constituents.”

Those members of the school board — Jeannie Conley, Kathy Wilder, Theresa Howard, Peggy Lovejoy and 10 others, who never bothered to survey the townspeople or the students — just decided that they are more enlightened than the rest of us. They didn’t care if their position was against the will of the vast majority of townspeople. They should all lose their jobs in the next election.

So what happens next? First, in protest, we should make sure we vote to oppose their bloated school district budget. We should ask that the superintendent and the school board members who voted to “retire” the name and who orchestrated this fiasco resign. We should move ahead to remove everything related to Indians in town: the town seal, the wooden Indian, the painting in the Opera House and maybe even the town name, because they’ll be back again; if “Indians” is not a nickname, it isn’t a town seal or a piece of artwork either. Why have them come back in a few years to bully and divide the town again? Do we want to experience another bullying campaign where we’re called racists and ignorant?

R.I.P. Skowhegan Indians.


Michael Turner

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