The Raiders Overcome


Jocey Fye

  For the past 9 months, the debate of whether the Bellefonte Highschools mascot was appropriate was the topic of many conversations. Members of the community had brought to the school board’s attention that the school’s mascot was insensitive to the Native American students as well as the Native culture as a whole. The school’s mascot is a Native American man wearing a traditional headdress as well as “war” paint, the school sports teams and student body are called “the Red Raiders”. Many people complained about not only the mascot but also the use of the word “red” which could be deemed as offensive by people of the Native American culture. 

  Bellefonte has been the “Red Raiders” for 80 years and many members of the community say it is a part of history for the district and many showed their support in keeping the mascot through social media posts and yard signs that read “Save our mascot”. There was a board meeting in April voting 8-1 to remove the mascot as a whole and 6-3 to remove the word “red” from the mascots description. The board was replaced after elections in November and a new meeting took place this past Tuesday where many members of the community shared their input on the situation. Some argue that no college or major high school in Pennsylvania has a mascot of anything that has to do with Native American culture, and many organizations that are much bigger than the school deemed it offensive and unnecessary. Whereas other argued that it is history and has been for over 80 years and that it’s not offensive. After the board listened to members of the community, they ultimately came to a decision after deliberating for hours and decided that the mascot and term “Red Raiders” would stay as is.