The public has spoken: The logo and mascot of Fulton’s G. Ray Bodley High School will be a Native American.
The Fulton Board of Education heard results of a community survey Tuesday night. More than 1000 surveys were returned.
More than 80% of those surveyed said that the icon should be a Native American.
“I will make a recommendation to the Board in an upcoming meeting to establish this as the official icon” of the high school, Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch said.
The committee that tackled this issue will keep on working. Now, it will come up with some ideas for what the logo will look like.
Survey participants said the logo should convey pride, strength and honor.
The state Education Department began pressuring districts to change logos, mascots and nicknames that featured Native Americans. Some districts, like Central Square, made the change. Districts such as Weedsport did not.
The Native American head logo most often associated with Fulton schools purports to be an Iroquois tribe member, but the headdress depicted in the logo — showing two feathers up and one feather down — is not the headdress of any of the Iroquois tribes, according to experts and the tribes themselves.
Among the comments made by those who took the survey:
- “Native Americans should be proud to be chosen because there are no better stewards of the earth.”
- “To honor the Red Raider would be to honor our new community, life, creator.”
- “It is a moral issue and it is clearly wrong.”
- “Indian icon should be a cultural symbol used by tribal people only.”
Survey respondents agreed that a logo is part of the community’s identification and a point of pride.
Lynch said the district will likely continue to use the red block “F” logo for district communications, while the new Native American logo will represent the high school and sports teams.