MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Nearly 50 people gathered Wednesday night to talk about a national debate that now has local concern.
The group of parents and residents want to see the mascot for Manhattan High School changed. However on Wednesday no new options were offered.
Instead, the group focused on ways to redirect the conversation about the mascot and any future, proposed changes.
For the last 40 years, the mascot for Manhattan High School has been the Indians.
Sonya Ortiz, a concerned parent and one of the organizers of the group, was not sure why the mascot changed from the pervious one.
According to Ortiz, Manhattan High School used to be represented by the cubs. She said it was connected to the Kansas State University Wildcats mascot.
“The first day I walked in with my son and signed him up for school, I felt lime it was a hostile environment,” she said about seeing the school’s current mascot. “Having that in my face felt demeaning.”
But these parents may not be the only ones who want to change the mascot.
An editorial ran in the student-run paper The Mentor on Jan. 11 saying the mascot needs to change.
Ortiz said that is a step in the right direction and wants parents to help foster students’ desire to change.
Earlier this week, an opinion article from a guest columnist at The Mentor said the mascot should stay.
Ortiz and the group know there will be differing opinions expressed by parents similar to those expressed by students.
But the group is still planning to get the word out about the need for change but attending future school board meetings, making t-shirts and writing editorials of their own.