WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts — Residents of a Boston suburb have voted to keep the high school’s Native American mascot and logo.
Wakefield voters on Tuesday supported keeping the school’s Warrior mascot and the accompanying image of a man wearing a feathered headdress by a 2,911 to 2,337 vote, according to the town’s unofficial results.
The nonbinding ballot question had sharply divided the town of some 27,000 residents north of Boston.
Some viewed the mascot as a source of pride while others deemed it racist and derogatory, The Boston Globe reported. Native American groups also urged the town to retire the mascot, as other Massachusetts communities have done.
Supporters of making a change say they still hope the school committee pursues eliminating the logo. The panel voted last month to eliminate the offending image but to preserve the Warrior moniker.
“THIS is why we [must] ban Native American mascots at the state level,” tweeted state Sen. Jo Comerford, a Northampton Democrat who has proposed banning Native American imagery in public school team names and logos statewide. “A racial justice, civil rights issue must not be left to a local vote.”
Roughly 25 Massachusetts schools still use some form of Native American mascot, according to the New England Anti-Mascot Coalition.