EDITOR’S NOTE: The following message was sent to the Northborough/Southborough Regional School Committee on Aug. 18 in response to recent discussions about changing Algonquin Regional High School’s Tomahawk mascot. A version was then shared with the Community Advocate to be published as a letter to the editor.
Read the Community Advocate’s continuing coverage of discussions around the Algonquin mascot…
I am writing with deep concern over the haste and lack of consideration that has been afforded to the taxpayers of the Northborough/Southborough communities as it relates to the past vote to terminate the Tomahawk mascot and now this sham of a mascot review process. It is now even more evident given the results of the recent survey and this evening’s subsequent “update” which show overwhelming support for the Tomahawk. In looking at the raw data the number one response, by quite a large margin of nearly one hundred respondents, being a vote to keep it the same. Further, the 2nd and 3rd results clearly express a strong desire to maintain, if not the status quo, then an extremely similar variation. In aggregate these top 3 results make up over 70% of the recommendations when recognizing all those having at least 10 votes. If that is not a public mandate, I struggle to think of one.
I find it extremely troubling that a third party, who is not a member of the community, has entirely discounted these top 3 recommendations in listing them as “out”. Having spoken with several members of the mascot board, I have heard first hand that the process is nothing more than optics with the administration and Jake Messier, of Heard Strategies rail-roading an already determined agenda with virtually no constructive dialogue being allowed so that a proper process may be executed which includes member input and intelligent debate.
As a taxpayer, unlike the majority of the ridiculously worthless change.org petition respondents, a measurement which has virtually no credibility and no traceability as to the who or where of respondents (as is evident by any simple google search of active change.org petitions), I wish to be put on the record in protest of this process and expect that this matter be publicly acknowledged. Even though it is my understanding that [Algonquin principal] Mr. [Sean] Bevan, when questioned, has commented that he is “not accountable to the taxpayers, but rather only the school committee.” I wish to challenge that contention.
If the RSC and Administration chooses to continue to act in this manner of callous disregard for a fair and open process rather than one that is rigged as it has been, I am certain the public will not maintain a blind eye but rather bring to fruition the remarks of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.