Bellefonte school board addresses the subject of the mascot — again | News, Sports, Jobs

BELLEFONTE — Bellefonte’s mascot issues just aren’t going away.

Earlier this week, the Bellefonte School Board released a statement about the district’s name and image. The statement included the following:

“The district hasn’t, and hasn’t had, a mascot for many years.

— The district has not used and has not used the image of the Indian head for quite some time. The only frame currently used by the district is block B. That is why when the stadium was built four years ago, block B was placed at the 50 meter line.

“We are the Red Raiders.

– There will be no forced removal of the few remaining Native American-related objects or images that hold great significance to a large majority of students and residents of the Bellefonte area school district.

At this week’s school board meeting, board chair Jeff Steiner spoke about the issue.

“The council has been receiving, more and more – over the last couple of weeks – emails about people on this particular subject,” Steiner said. “I think even though some of us at the table understand where things are, at all times we’ve communicated it very well and everyone’s there… they don’t understand it or they don’t. not get or they want it to be what they want it to be.

Steiner said he developed the board policy based on some of the questions and emails he received. He based the statement on the decisions that took place at the January 11, 2022 school board meeting.

He pointed out that the school no longer has a mascot.

“We just don’t have any. This is something we all agree on. We don’t want it, so it’s really not a problem,” Steiner said.

Using Block B has really taken over, Steiner said.

“I think it’s instructive for people who still think we use the Indian head…at this point the district never uses the Indian head,” Steiner said.

He clarified, however, that residents of the neighborhood can still use the Indian head.

“Private citizens are free to do so”, Steiner explained, “and we don’t have the ability to tell them otherwise…it’s just something we have no control over.”

Board member Donna Smith – who is a member of the district’s brand committee – said the students were “happy” for clarification.

“They said, ‘This is the best thing we’ve done so far to make it crystal clear.’ It’s not about uniforms or any aspect of the school anymore,” said Smith.

Smith noted that Bellefonte B cannot be trademarked as is because it is simply a font and color.

“Our task is to try to come together and decide who are we? And how can we incorporate that into the B,” Smith asked.

Board Vice Chairman Jon Guizar suggested a brand guide once things were finalized.

Superintendent Tammie Burnaford noted that there are very few pieces of team gear with Native American imagery.

“Once they’re out, they’ll be (gone)”, said Burnaford.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox

Jessica C. Bell