Social Circle City Schools BOE to hear public requests on change to schools’ Redskins mascot tonight

Three people have signed up to speak at the Sept. 10, 2020 Social Circle City Schools Board of Education meeting, two of them have requested the BOE consider changes to the school’s Redskins mascot – Theodoris Gibbs, assistant principal at Harmony Elementary School in Monroe and a former Social City Schools administrator, and Kelsey Provow, who has a petition of that is requesting the change. The petition, which currently has more than 1,800 signatures reads:

“In Social Circle, Georgia, the name of all our middle school and high school sports teams is the Social Circle Redskins, and our emblem is a Native American man. Redskins is an offensive term used to describe Native Americans, and has been for decades. With the Washington Redskins working on changing their name, I think if the members of our community came together, we could do the same, and choose another mascot/emblem as well. I want people to feel welcome at our school, regardless of race, and that can’t happen with an offensive term being so openly displayed on our schools fields, merchandise, website, and more. Please help us change the name and mascot at our school by signing this petition.” 

There is a dueling petition, authored by Daniel Lovell, asking for support to keep the mascot the same. It has more than 2,000 signatures at this time and it reads:

“There is a petition out to change the mascot of Social Circle High School. The name is Redskins. This Name is uplifting and honors the Native American culture. Please do not change the name of the mascot of our high school.”

Local resident Mitch Dennis has requested the public attend the meeting to lend their support to keeping the mascot the same.

“Social Circle was founded in 1820. It was centered at the junction of two Indian trails known today as Cherokee Road and Hightower Trail. Incorporated in 1832 as a village, in 1869 as a town, and in 1904 as a city, Social Circle. I’m sure there was good reasoning behind the choosing of the Redskin mascot and nothing but honor to Social Circle’s history,” Dennis said in a Facebook post. “This will impact every Walton County taxpayer due to the very costly removal and replacement of the mascot. Plus, Social Circle isn’t the only school in Walton County with an indian mascot. If this removal of Social Circle school’s mascot is approved, how many other schools in Walton County will have to change their mascot?”

Walnut Grove High School also has a Native American warrior as its mascot. The City of Walnut Grove, with its Broken Arrow district, also has a connection to local early Native American history. Dennis said he has children who attend or have attended Social Circle City Schools in the past and he is a proud Social Circle Redskins father.

“There a lot more laudable causes that could prove more beneficial to Walton County than the removal of a mascot that has been around for over 50 years,” he said.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will take place in the Social Circle Middle School gym. The public is invited to attend. The full agenda of the meeting follows.

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