I live in the Wachusett Regional School District, which is great because it’s one of the best places to send your kids in the state. It’s a gigantic district, it’s great academically, and because it consists of 5 towns (Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Rutland, Paxton), and the population is so big they’re really good at sports and offer a variety of extracurricular activities that there simply isn’t enough demand for in smaller districts.
But all is not well in the WRSD, as the woke crowd has suddenly realized that the high school’s mascot is so offensive that it must be changed immediately.
The mascot is the Mountaineer, like the University of West Virginia. It’s a good name because Princeton has Mount Wachusett, the high school is called Wachusett, and people who historically lived in mountains were known as Mountaineers. Being called a mountaineer wasn’t offensive to mountaineers, and it was something they took pride in. They lived life simply, often without electricity and/or healthcare, but they had their guns and their freedom and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Today in Holden and Rutland we have a bunch of Blair homes and soccer moms, so it’s not exactly rustic living. But still, the best high school mascots are the ones that have a historical tie to the community – Buckeyes, Patriots, Cowboys, Minutemen, etc. Sure beats another team called the Wildcats.
But evidently some kids at Wachusett have decided this offends them, and one of them wrote the whiniest, most entitled op-ed in the local newspaper (Holden Landmark) that you will ever read. Excerpts in italics, rational commentary in bold.
I have loved much of my time at Wachusett Regional High School, but can I say that I am proud to be a Mountaineer? No, I can not. My reason for this is not just because of the horrible mascot image, but because of the atmosphere at the school. It feels that change will never occur and that it is not allowed. When a survey went out asking about the mascot, people said that it was just an attempt to calm those who opposed it. I heard that no matter what the results are, no change will occur. The atmosphere at WRHS over four years is one of hopelessness. Our wonderful teachers often support our ambitions, but the flame dies the second it leaves the classroom. Many say that we have other issues to focus on. I agree and it is foolish to think that students have not brought up these other concerns. I have. It feels like the administration is just waiting for the ambitious and outspoken students to give up or graduate. I have fought hard for all sorts of positive change to occur in vain. Do you want your children, our future, to grow up where they think that they can not make a difference? Where they feel that their opinions are not valued or not heard? This is what my peers and I have felt for years now.
Hopelessness?? Kid, if you feel hopeless because of the school mascot, then you may in fact be hopeless. And here’s a tip – if you want to be taken seriously, stop acting like Holden’s version of Veruca Salt. The world is not ending over a mascot, and your “sky is falling routine” makes rational people immediately dismiss you as a whiny suburban teenager who doesn’t understand how good he has it.
The other argument is that: “It is just an image.” If it is “just an image,” implying insignificance, then why get so upset that Wachusett students are calling for change? This is an opportunity to show the young people of our community that change is possible. If it is just an image, then why not let people change it?
Because that’s not how the world works sport. We don’t change things because you randomly decided to be offended by it. Plus, in a grown up land we understand that rebranding is very expensive. Every school uniform will have to be redone, the district will have to pay for a professional team to come up with something that a bunch of 16 year olds approve of, and then a couple years later the new, even more entitled group of kids will decide to be offended by the new logo. So that’s why we don’t change it on a whim.
Why not show the students, who walk down those halls feeling hopeless, that their voices can make change?
Like I said before, any chance you had at being taken seriously immediately went out the door when you said that kids are walking down those halls feeling hopeless. You’re extremely lucky to grow up in Holden. I grew up in Worcester, where the cure for a leaky ceiling was a bucket on the floor. I went to school with mostly kids who grew up living in poverty, and went back home to poor, working parents who had REAL problems to deal with. So yea, your feeling of hopelessness is pathetic and overly dramatic, and no rational adult takes you seriously when you say that.
Why not show them that their opinions are heard and respected? Why degrade them by saying they are not affiliated with the school they go to every day bright and early?
Translation – the only way to show me I’m respected is to give me everything I want when I throw a tantrum and use words like “hopeless.” You’re not being degraded because you didn’t get your way, and quite frankly you sound like the kind of kid who needs to learn the hard way that you don’t always get what you want. Your feelings don’t actually matter, and they never will. That’s how life works. Deal with it.
It is interesting that people think this is just about a gun or the gender. For some, it may be.
Guns and gender? Oh for FFS.
For me, this is about a lot more than that. Our mascot, besides being insensitive, outdated, and racist, is supposed to be a symbol of the school and of its students.
Wait…..racist? How in tarnation is this racist?
Racist against who? White people with no wifi? It’s a freaking caricature. The whole point is to turn real people in to cartoons. Kind of like this:
Do the Celtics offend you as well? Too bad. No one cares what you’re offended by. It’s not society’s job to cater to your meaningless feelings.
What I assume he’s getting at is that it’s racist because he naively believes this is some sort of confederate soldier fighting to preserve slavery. This of course shows how truly ignorant he is, because Mountaineers had no allegiance to either the confederacy or the Union. They were isolated mountain people in border states like Kentucky and West Virginia that just wanted to be left alone so they could drink moonshine and listen to the Carter Family. There were mountaineers in northern and southern states, but the southern Appalachians lived far, far away from southern life that you learn about in school.
I ask parents, do you want your student to be represented by that mountaineer? I think that they deserve a better symbol representing them. A mountaineer is an adventurer. The students of Wachusett, after four years of growth and study, are meant to be adventurers. They strive to make the world a better place, but an adventurer does not have to be represented by a stereotyped southerner.
Repeat after me – Mountaineers are not southerners. Some might be from the south, but they weren’t plantation owners. They actually hated those people because they were jealous of their wealth. Mountaineers were poor people with no shoes who lived in mountains and ate raccoon. Mount Wachusett is a mountain. This really isn’t that hard to figure out.
It can be anything or anyone. Why confine our students to such an image; why not let the students use their creativity and develop a new image for a mascot?
Because the mascot belongs to the graduates just as much as it does the current students. It doesn’t change on a whim because generation snowflake has decided it’s offensive.
I do not have a solution for what the mascot should look like, but why not have an open dialogue about what it could be?
Because you’re kids and your opinions don’t matter nearly as much as you think they do.
The survey asked if change is wanted, but it did not give visuals of what change would look like. In such a stagnant environment students need to see what change could look like. Students are interested in changing the mascot, but it is hard to change it if you do not see the other options. Just because keeping it is the easy option, does not mean that it is the right option for our current students and future generations.
It’s not just the easy option, it’s the free option. You gonna pay the tax increase that comes with fixing this? We’re one of the only districts in the state that doesn’t have free kindergarten. I’d rather pay for that so my kids can learn how to read instead of paying for something that caters to your “hopelessness.”
Every student out of the dozens I have talked to about the mascot has shown me a spark of creativity as the conversation progressed. They have shared their ideas of what the mascot could be. We must protect this creativity and let it grow.
Oh good, he polled some of his friends. Now we have to change it.
This is a movement that students have called on for years. Why shut down their ideas when you could listen to them?
They heard you loud and clear, they just chose not to give you what you wanted. I know you probably grew up throwing tantrums and getting everything you wanted, but that’s not the way the real world works.
As a community, do we want to continue this cycle of hopeless silence? We have the power to show our young people that change is possible. I believe that it would be a mistake not to use it. I will be proud to be a Wachusett Mountaineer when I feel that my peers voices are being heard and respected.
I can’t believe the Landmark published this, but I guess anything for clicks. The sad part is that thanks to the David Hogg effect there are adults out there who blindly agree with anything that 17 year olds say because they’re just happy to see a kid who isn’t sitting in front of his XBox eating Tide pods. Like this concerned citizen:
Shame on anyone who responded to this article negatively!! Whenever a kid says something stupid, like calling a Mountaineer racist, and it’s published in a newspaper, we all have to blindly clap for them because they said something that didn’t involve an emoji. And the adults are the entitled ones here, not the whiny kids who feel hopeless because of a mascot.
Then there was this:
She cried about a paragraph in which a high school senior said he felt hopeless because of a mascot. Maybe the kids aren’t the problem after all. It’s the people who are raising them to be like this.
Since when are mascots supposed to inspire you? What planet are these people living on? Do you think Washington Wizard fans watch a game and go out and buy themselves a magic set? This was our high school mascot at South High:
It’s allegedly a “Colonel.” It looks ridiculous and it didn’t make anyone in the school proud. It had no ties whatsoever to Worcester, but guess what? None of us felt hopeless when we saw it because we weren’t raised to be pansy asses.
Then there was Peggy…..
Well there it is – the stupidest thing I’ll read all day. We can’t have mascots with guns because it might offend people who have lost children in mass shootings at the hand of shoeless mountaineers. An actual adult said this, and this person’s vote counts just as much as your’s.
Luckily there were some rational people commenting.
God bless you Allyson. You don’t get what you want just because you have an opinion. If you feel hopeless then see a doctor, because you’re not ready for reality. Your facts are non-existent, and your understanding of what a mountaineer was is all wrong. Your ego is out of control, and you are not the leader of a movement that matters in the least bit. You’re just an entitled Gen-Z lucky sperm who has the luxury of growing up in a nice town so you don’t know what real problems are. Please, transfer to South High for a month so it can humble you and somewhat prepare you for life after high school.
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