A senior at Wentzville’s Holt High School has started an online petition to change the school’s mascot, the Indian.
The petition, on Change.org, states:
“For years, the mascot of Holt High School has been an “Indian”, which is an outdated and offensive caricature aimed towards Native Americans. A high school that attempts to champion itself as diverse and inclusive should not still be using a term and image that stereotypes an entire marginalized group of people as a source of school spirit.
“With this petition, I hope to show the administrators of the Wentzville School District and Holt High School that the community frowns upon the usage of such a degrading word and image as a mascot. I hope that this petition starts conversations in the Wentzville School District about changing the mascot of Holt High School.”
Senior Simon Osler, the student who created the petition, plans to deliver a letter to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Curtis Cain and Holt Principal Shane Schlueter that states, “A high school should not be promoting discrimination by using a slur to encourage school spirit.”
Within five hours of posting, the petition had received 172 signatures. Comments supporting the change have been posted by people from Florissant, Fenton, and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Holt High is the oldest high school in the district and was originally called Wentzville High School. According to Wikipedia, the first graduating class, in 1896, had three students and was held in the building that is now Green Lantern Senior Center. The current building on Campus Drive was constructed in 1975. The school became Wentzville Holt High, or just Holt High, in 2000 with the addition of Timberland High School as the district second high school.