The last hurrah for the Radnor High School Red Raider, an American Indian mascot, may be the parting photos contained in the school's 2013 yearbook. As of June 11, the Red Raider has graduated to the history books.
According to MainLineMediaNews.com, RHS Principal Mark Schellenger announced a mascot change to the Radnor Township School Board policy committee Tuesday. Going forward, the school's sports teams will be known simply as the Raiders, without an accompanying mascot. Schellenger said the decision to end the mascot’s tenure was “a great example of student involvement.”
“There will be no mascot,” said Schellenger. “No character of an Indian on our sidelines. The Red Raider is graduated, while at the same time we will maintain the tradition of the Radnor Raiders.”
It appears the community at large was not involved in the decision, as the school's students were. MainLineMediaNews.com reports that Board Member Charles Madden wished the larger community, including alumni, had been consulted before a decision about the mascot was made.
“This has been an issue for quite a long time and we’ve pushed it off,” said Madden. “It’s bigger than the school community. It’s bigger than the high school.”
One outsider who was involved in the process was Villanova University sociology professor Rick Eckstein. In addition to speaking with students about the "cultural insensitivity of having a Native American for a mascot," Eckstein spoke at a board policy meeting in February about the matter.