By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH — What do you think the new Algonquin Regional High School mascot should be?
That’s the topic of a survey launched by the high school on July 19. The survey will remain open through July 30. It can be found at tinyurl.com/ARHSMascotSurvey.
The survey asks respondants what mascot should replace the now retired “Tomahawk.” It asks what qualities respondents think the mascot should portray and asks whether there are any specific features of Northborough or Southborough that could be considered as the mascot is developed.
The Northborough Southborough Regional School Committee voted to retire the Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) mascot, the Tomahawk, back in April.
The Tomahawk mascot had been adopted after ARHS was created in 1959. Last spring, however, the school committee received a petition to change the mascot and the high school’s name.
The petition said that there was no record of the Algonquin tribe allowing the district to name its school and mascot after the tribe. It continued, saying the Algonquin name plus the Tomahawk mascot “perpetuate racist stereotypes, classifying Natives as violent and barbaric.”
A Short-Term Study Group for Mascot Review was formed and the group recommended that the Tomahawk be retired.
Following the vote to retire, a Mascot Renaming Study Group was convened to study options for a new mascot.
According to a letter sent to district families, the group is charged with identifying two or three potential new ARHS mascots. Those options will then be presented to the Regional School Committee. High school students will also have the chance to vote on the suggestions.
The results of this month’s survey will be presented on Aug. 16 as a part of this process.
There will be a webpage at https://www.nsboro.k12.ma.us/site/default.aspx?DomainID=996 for anyone interested in following the Mascot Renaming Study Group’s work in addition to updates on social media.
People can further share their thoughts via email at MascotStudyGroup@nsboro.k12.ma.us.