North Side Legends ready to start new traditions

 

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News release from the Fort Wayne Community Schools:

North Side Legends ready to start new traditions

(December 17, 2015) – North Side High School students have selected Legends as the school’s new nickname following a process that included input from the North Side community, including alumni.

Use of the new name will start with the 2016-17 school year. With the name selected, work will begin on developing a new logo and mascot for the school. The committee gathered to establish the selection process will also establish the process for designing and selecting the new logo and mascot. The school’s colors will remain red and white.

“This is the beginning of a new era for North Side, and students have selected a name that they believe represents the school’s strong past, present and future,” Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “This name allows North Side to hold on to traditions that students and alumni have held for generations while also establishing new traditions that will become legendary in their own right.”

The process to select a new nickname began in late summer when members of the Board of School Trustees asked North Side and district leaders to examine retiring the use of Redskins, which has been in place since the school opened in 1927. At that time, the name was chosen as a source of pride in the area’s rich Native American history. But the name is now perceived as a derogatory term and is inconsistent with the district’s core values, which includes valuing “the diversity and uniqueness of our district and community.”

At the start of the school year, North Side staff and students learned about the traditions and history of Native Americans in the area, particularly related to the Miami Tribe, to gain a better understanding of why the nickname is offensive to many people. Students, staff and alumni were then offered an opportunity to suggest new nicknames. About 75 names were submitted, and a committee of students, staff, alumni, parents, a member of the Board of School Trustees, and representatives from North Side’s feeder schools, narrowed down the suggestions. Any names that were inappropriate or already used by nearby schools or schools that North Side frequently plays in athletics were eliminated. The other names were considered one by one. In the end, eight names were considered by students – Falcons, Legends, Mustangs, Nations, Night Hawks, Raptors, Rockets and Thunder. After the first vote, the options were narrowed down to four – Falcons, Legends, Night Hawks and Raptors – with Legends coming out ahead.

The change in nickname will not lead to an immediate removal of all depictions of the current North Side logo and nickname. Only items that could be removed or changed through routine maintenance, such as painted areas, will be addressed immediately. Other items, such as the stained glass window or terrazzo flooring, will remain in place for the time-being.

In addition, school uniforms are replaced on a three-year rotation. At this point, there is no plan to replace all uniforms simultaneously. Uniforms with the new nickname and logo will be purchased according to the replacement schedule.

“While we understand this change does not come easy for some, we are proud of the way our community, especially the students, handled this process,” Dr. Robinson said. “There was no single student or individual who was solely responsible for this new name. Instead, it was collaborative with thoughtful input from a variety of people connected to North Side. We appreciate all the voices we heard in recent months – even those who disagreed with the change. North Side has graduated many Legends – some known nationally, others known locally. Over the next 100 years, we expect many more Legends will walk through the doors of North Side.”

 

North Side Nickname Q&A

Q. What is the new North Side High School nickname?
A. Legends

Q. Who selected the name?
A. Students, staff and alumni were offered an opportunity to suggest new nicknames. About 75 names were submitted, and a committee of students, staff, alumni, parents, a member of the Board of School Trustees, and representatives from North Side’s feeder schools, narrowed down the suggestions. Any names that were inappropriate or already used by nearby schools or schools that North Side frequently plays in athletics were eliminated. The other names were considered one by one. In the end, eight names were considered by students – Falcons, Legends, Mustangs, Nations, Night Hawks, Raptors, Rockets and Thunder. After the first vote, the options were narrowed down to four – Falcons, Legends, Night Hawks and Raptors – with Legends coming out ahead.

Q. Why did the nickname need to change?
A. The process to select a new nickname began in late summer when members of the Board of School Trustees asked North Side and district leaders to examine retiring the use of Redskins, which has been in place since the school opened in 1927. At that time, the name was chosen as a source of pride in the area’s rich Native American history. But the name is now perceived as a derogatory term and is inconsistent with the district’s core values, which includes valuing “the diversity and uniqueness of our district and community.”

Q. How was this explained to students?
A. At the start of the school year, North Side staff and students learned about the traditions and history of Native Americans in the area, particularly related to the Miami Tribe, to gain a better understanding of why the nickname is offensive to many people.

Q. Why weren’t alumni allowed to vote on the new name?
A. Alumni had their years in high school, and they were Redskins. This change affects students going forward, so they were allowed to choose.

Q. Can I still wear my Redskins shirt to school?
A. Yes.

Q. When does the change take place?
A. Beginning with the 2016-17 school year.

Q. Do alumni have to adopt the new nickname?
A. No, they graduated as Redskins.

Q. Can the alumni adopt the new nickname?
A. Yes, any North Side graduate can be a Legend.

Q. What will the new logo/mascot look like?
A. The committee will determine the process by which a new logo/mascot will be designed and selected. Stay tuned for more information.

Q. What is a Legend?
A. A Legend is someone who is very well known. We have had many alumni in our nearly 90-year history who many would consider legends – mayors, actors and actresses, musicians, business owners and more.

Q. How much will it cost to remove all the Redskin references and logos from North Side?
A. Even though the logo appears in several places, we do not plan on spending much, if anything, on removing the image. Where it can easily be painted over during routine summer maintenance, it will be covered. Other places, such as the stained glass window and terrazzo flooring, are not so easily removed. There is no plan to remove those images at this time. If they need to be replaced as some point in the future, we will consider removing them at that point.

Q. How much will it cost to replace all the uniforms?
A. Uniform purchases are on a 3-year rotation with a portion of uniforms purchased each year. That cycle will continue with new uniforms depicting the new nickname and logo.

Q. Are the school colors changing?
A. No, they will remain red and white.

Q. Will the school song change?
A. No.

 

About Fort Wayne Community Schools
With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 51 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.

 

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