BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Bellefonte Area High School has identified as the “Red Raiders” since 1936.
But now, a group of alumni want to change the school’s logo and mascot.
“It was 6 of us initially, more people have come and joined,” said Evan Trowbridge, Co-Organizer of Petition, and BAHS Class of 2006 Graduate.
“We were all just sharing articles and things that kind of inspired us, about how we could be apart of a solution, to making people feel included, making people feel welcome in our town.”
“The Red Raider as a symbol doesn’t do that for us,” Trowbridge added.
Evan and others started a petition on June 10th, calling for the mascot change.
The petition says the community deserves a mascot that is “anti-racist, anti-bias, all-inclusive, and honors our great community and its history.”
The logo changed from the Indian head to the letter “B” in 2015, a way for the school district to be “respectful of individuals” Athletic Director Deb Moore said.
But not everyone is on board with a mascot change.
“With the social climate as it is, they want to try and take advantage of it and change every last bit they see people think is wrong,” said Jack Bechdel, Organizer of Counter Petition, and member fof the BAHS Class of ’84.
“It’s just words. It’s a name that unites us.”
Jack made a counter petition, to keep the mascot and logo the same, and currently has over 3,400 signatures.
Organizers of the petition to change the mascot hope it will be a topic of discussion at the Bellefonte board meeting on Tuesday.
“We’re not sure if it will be on the agenda yet, it will likely be open during the comment period, for people to talk about,” Trowbridge added.
We reached out to school board for comments on the petition, and president Jon Guziar said the board has no comment at this time.
The petition to change the mascot currently sits at over 1,800 signatures.