ELVERSON, PA — High school students in Southern Berks and Chester County hope to “Retire the Raider”. Led by Twin Valley Junior, Arden Wolfe, the group has accumulated nearly 4,200 signatures in a campaign to change their school mascot. Their goal is eliminating what they call offensive and culturally appropriated Native American slurs and imagery.
“Words matter,” says Wolfe, age 16. “Native American stereotypes harm Indigenous people. It is an active decision by our school board to continue using a racist mascot.” Over the past 10 months, Wolfe and group members have worked tirelessly to get this message across. They are zooming with Tribal leaders and emailing administrators, many taking it up online.
“Allison Greene Class of 1999 here. We were having this same discussion when I was there 20+ years ago. Sad to see we still have to have this conversation.” Greene is a Twin Valley alum sharing her words of encouragement on the petition.
As the ongoing debate for the mascot change continues, both the School Board (led by Gary McEwen, President) and administration has remained largely silent. Requests to address the Board have been ignored since students began the initiative last summer.
Last August, the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District in Kennett Square retired their “Indian” mascot. Following suit, “Radnor for Reform” successfully eliminated all “Raider” mascot logos and verbiage in September. According to the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, over 60 racists mascots are still being used in the Keystone State. Over 1,000 exist nationally.
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