(KCRA) – At Calaveras High, being a Redskin is about tradition.
For 108 years, the school’s mascot has never changed or been debated.
The latest remarks from NBC sports anchor Bob Costas and even President Barack Obama, calling on the Washington Redskins to consider a name change, haven’t affected students and staff in Calaveras County.
“Our goal is not to offend anybody,” high school Principal Mike Merrill said. “It’s to show our pride.”
Students said Monday from their standpoint, there’s no controversy about being a Redskin.
“My dad was a Redskin here (and) his dad was a Redskin, too,” Jameson Brown said.
Added Kyle Chaboya, an athlete on the football team: “I don’t think it’s an insult — our mascot is, well, the way it is. (They) shouldn’t change anything about it.”
“I think it’s a tradition for us,” Priscilla Ruth said. “It’s not meant to be taken in bad way.”
The school uses an emblem of an Native American chief to show its pride and school spirit.
In the past, the only issue that came up was when the emblem was painted on the gym floor.
“The emblem was originally on the gym floor when it was built, then we learned from the tribal elder (that) the feather headdress was not to touch the floor,” Merrill said.
The emblem was removed and painted on the wall next to the scoreboard, out of respect for the Mi Wuk Tribe in the community.
Superintendent Mark Campbell said the Mi Wuk Tribe stands by the school using the Redskin as its mascot, and doesn’t think much of the national controversy brewing over the NFL team.
“They’re respectful in the way they do it, and the kids know it,” said Dana Heffington, a part of the Mi Wuk Tribe.
The closest the school came to considering a name change was in the ’90s, when a survey was sent out to the community. The support was overwhelming to keep the name.