- Education and Science
The issue of school mascots
School mascots and issues surrounding them are in the news again. Schools all across the country have mascots many of which have had them in place for decades. They are a symbol of schools and help identify their sports teams and in no way reflect derogatory intentions. Political correctness is going too far when individuals or organizations file lawsuits to have these mascots discontinued. Granted there may be cases where mascots and their use may be in bad taste but they are the exception rather than the rule.
School mascots have come to be part of a school’s culture associated with sports teams and the public have come to recognize them as part of the identification of each individual school, college or university. Have we come so far that what we as individuals or schools cannot create a symbol of whom we are that others will try to force us to change our ways. The latest issue surrounds a school in California. The mascot being discussed in the latest incident has been in existence since the 1920s and now organizations have objections. I understand that anything we do as individuals or as an organization may offend someone or some organization. This however does not give them the right to force a change in the culture or identity associated with a school or organization.
Like the mascot in the current issue mascots have been around for decades. Most if not all individuals who attended schools which have come under scrutiny for having them do not understand what the big deal is about now at this juncture in the history of their school. Again I understand that there are times when actions of mascots may be in poor taste regarding certain groups of individuals but the culture of mascots for schools should be left as they are.
The philosophy of political correctness has or is becoming a common activity in our society today and in some respects it has gone too far. It is understood the issue of political correctness has worked its way into the curriculum in our school institutions. In some respects the events in the history of our country are being presented in a different perspective than the actual details of when they took place. The history of our country and the events which have taken place should not be changed in any aspect.
Mascots are a way of life for any school sporting event and our court systems should not make decisions to change a way of life that the public has come to recognize and accept. Organizations or individuals who bring lawsuits to force school institutions to make changes associated with their mascots need to understand the philosophy and principles surrounding mascots in our educational institutions. As identified earlier mascots for sports teams are everywhere and the question to be answered is why some are being attacked with lawsuits and others are left alone. Even professional sports teams have mascots.
Our educational institutions need something to distinguish themselves from other institutions and mascots amply serve this purpose. Without mascots one school would just be like another with no distinguishing characteristics. Granted teams can be an identifying characteristic but mascots help to identify not only the team but the institution. Our court system has many lawsuits scheduled which probably in many cases do not warrant even taking up the court’s time with the issue or issues being raised. It is however the right of any individual to seek restitution for what is felt invokes disrespect or harm to specific individuals or groups of individuals. Complaining about the use of mascots invoking harm or disrespect would in my opinion be hard to prove especially in the context in which they are being utilized. Mascots have been in existence for years and they should remain as part of the culture of our educational institutions in the future.