MANCHESTER, N.H. – A committee is being formed to examine the potential removal and replacement of Manchester Central High School’s Native American logo.
The “Indian head” logo dates back to the 1920s according to a booklet written by former Central principal William Burns, honoring the school’s connection with Dartmouth College and its former alternate nickname, “the Indians.” While Dartmouth stopped using the nickname by the 1960s, its official nickname of the “Big Green” provided inspiration for Central’s current nickname, the “Little Green.”
In March, the Central Student Council passed a resolution calling on the Central community to voluntarily retire the use of the logo, following a similar effort by students in 2007.
On Wednesday, Manchester Board of School Committee (BOSC) Student Member and Central Student Kellan Barbee told the BOSC Policy Committee that efforts are now underway to reach out to the larger community regarding the issue after he said there had been “push back” toward the council’s decision.
Barbee said that the committee would be focused on including stakeholders such as alumni and others with a vested interest in the school, but all would be welcome to provide their input.
“We have to involve every member of the community that wants to be involved,” he said. “If we don’t, the end result will not be the best it can be.”
Members of the committee praised Barbee bringing this item to the attention of the board and offered any support that Barbee and his fellow classmates need.
“You’ve not only indicated an incredible moment for change, but also how well we’ve educated you,” said Ward 4 BOSC Member and Policy Committee Chair Leslie Want.
“I hope you all can continue to work on this amazing initiative,” said Ward 5 BOSC Member Jason Bonilla. “This is your time, and you, our future leaders, are making sure we’re culturally aware.”
Ward 11 BOSC Member Dr. Nicole Leapley echoed these sentiments and added the poignancy of the timing of Barbee’s news given the recent white supremacist attack in Buffalo, NY. Leapley also added that the Manchester Memorial mascot, the Crusader, may also be insensitive to non-Christian students.
At-Large BOSC Member Jim O’Connell also echoed the praise and added that the BOSC potentially should consider re-naming Columbus Day as well.
Anyone interested in joining the committee can e-mail Tina Philibotte at email@example.com