A left-wing California school district has opted to scuttle a high school’s mascot in the name of inclusivity.
According to the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, the Mount Diablo Unified School District voted 4-1 this week to dump “Minutemen” as the mascot for Concord High School.
Now, the school and its students will be known as the Bears.
“It’s time for new attitudes. And if changing a mascot will make students feel welcomed, embraced and empower[s] them to participate more at the school, then I will support this,” school board member Linda Mayo said at the meeting.
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The Minutemen mascot is obviously drawn from the American troops who fought at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in the first skirmish of the American Revolution.
That April 1775 battle was famously recalled by previous generations of Americans for the ride of Paul Revere, who warned of the approach on Concord of British troops the night before the opening shots were fired.
As the website Battlefields.org noted, “Minute Men and militias rushed to confront them [the Brits] early on April 19. Though it is uncertain who actually fired the first shot that day, it reverberated throughout history. Eight years of war followed, and those who stood their ground against [British Royal Gov. Thomas] Gage’s troops eventually earned independence from Britain and became citizens of the democratic United States of America.”
That first shot also reverberated throughout history as “the shot heard ’round the world,” as the U.S. embarked on ridding its shores of the British army.
Yet as the local ABC outlet reported, “One of the concerns among those who called for change is the minuteman holding a musket — at a time where school shootings are top of mind for many students.”
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“Other issues come from the use of the word ‘men,’” the report added.
“With the term ‘men,’ then what about our female students? You know they’re not represented,” Superintendent Adam Clark said at the meeting.
The ABC report also pointed out that the school district “decided to replace human mascots with non-human ones. The goal was to make them more inclusive.”
Matthew Dashner, a recent Concord High grad who opposed the name swap, told ABC that the students were not given the choice to keep Minutemen as the mascot.
“It’s kind of the identity of our teams. We fight, we fight even when we’re down and the odds are stacked against us. We keep going. Like how our country was created, the minutemen,” he said.
The school district will now spend $200,000 to convert to the new nickname.
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