In a move that a Newington, Connecticut Indians high school coach has lauded as ‘mature’ on Twitter, the Hall High School cheering section formerly known as ‘The Rez’ has changed its name to the ‘Hall Super Fans.’
The move comes shortly after a considerable amount of media exposure over the past week, in which creators of ‘The Rez’ Twitter account had also criticized Native hip-hop artist Frank Waln who had performed at the school last year and shared his view against Native mascots in schools.
The Hall cheering section was also attempting in recent weeks to bring back t-shirts with Native imagery and was again selling them to students. After the media exposure, the cheering section has stated on Twitter that the shirts have never been worn or sold.
This statement has been brought into question however as the West Hartford Connecticut news site we-ha.com reported that Hall High School student government president Matt Wilcox reported that new designs with Native American imagery surfaced about two weeks ago, and were being sold through social media.
Wilcox told we-ha.com, “[Members of The Rez] were trying to sell them, but the leaders [of The Rez] weren’t into the drama and negative attention, and several of them stepped down Friday afternoon.”
Wilcox also said he later saw some of the former leaders giving money back to students who had ordered the shirts.
In March 2015, after a community forum with over 60 speakers and 250 attendees, the West Hartford Board of Education voted to allow Conard and Hall to retain the Chieftain and Warrior names, with provisions that required school-sanctioned imagery to be culturally-sensitive. The BOE policy states: “The use of such mascots, symbols, images, or nicknames by independent, non-school-sanctioned clubs and organizations is strongly discouraged.”
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