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Letter: Mascot does not define my traditions, memories

Mascot does not define my traditions, memories

As a Lancaster High School graduate (class of ’99), I feel compelled to offer my opinion on the subject of Lancaster’s mascot. I applaud the direction the district is taking around the ultimate decision of whether to retain the mascot. It is important to talk openly and respectfully about sensitive issues such as this, and the community engagement sessions are an appropriate forum to do so.

I believe Lancaster should change its mascot. A number of terms in reference to race that were socially acceptable 30 years ago are no longer acceptable today. I feel that we can say the same thing about the Redskins. Times change and people evolve. From conversations I have had with former classmates now-turned-teachers in the district, it sounds like the district is better than ever before in terms of technology in the classroom, teaching philosophies, a robust offering of Advanced Placement classes, etc. Changing the name would only serve to further advance Lancaster’s reputation as a forward-thinking, best-in-class school district.

But what about the tradition of the mascot name? Tradition, in my opinion, is made up of the people who came before you as well as the memories and accomplishments of you and your classmates. I am proud to be a Lancaster High School graduate and look back fondly on those times. In no way does the mascot of my alma mater define those traditions and memories.

Jeffrey S. Gall

New York City