Central High School will be retiring the “Red Raiders” team name and mascot.
Over the years, conversations have taken place about the history and appropriateness of the “Red Raiders” name. School administration made the decision to move forward with a change after hearing feedback from students, families, staff, and community members, a statement from the district released on Monday said.
“It is imperative that La Crosse schools reflect mascots that are culturally sensitive and inclusive of all races and nationalities represented in our buildings and the broader community,” the statement added.
“The proud tradition of being a Central High School student, staff member, or alumni isn’t about a mascot, an image, or a name but it’s rooted in excellence and life-long learning and I want to move forward with that spirit,” said Central High School principal Troy McDonald. “We will work with our Central High School family to find a new mascot that will be a source of pride for future generations and be consistent with the belief that Central is a safe and welcoming place for all.”
Administration will work to develop a plan for removing all applicable imagery as well as for creating and establishing a new team name and mascot, which will include student and staff input and involvement, according to the district. The process will also involve establishing ways for students to reflect and learn from the past as it relates to the “Red Raiders” name and mascot as well as other traditions and history, including that of the surrounding community and its strong Native American roots.
Central High School administration hopes to present a new name and mascot to the School District of La Crosse Board of Education in early January.
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