A group of Manchester High School students is pushing for the school to change its nickname and mascot.
Manchester High has been known as the Indians since 1949, but the Student Activist Team is petitioning for a change. The school has de-emphasized the mascot in recent years, shifting its logo from a Native American figure to a simple red “M” insignia. The school has also used an “M” with feathers attached to a circle around the letter.
Superintendent Matthew Geary and principal Katelyn Miner — a graduate of the school — both support the campaign for a new brand. The Board of Education would need to act on a move, and the school is likely to hold forums with students, alumni and members of the community.
Geary said in a statement that he “has been impressed with the students’ initiative, passion and approach in raising the subject.” Geary said he personally would prefer that the high school have a different mascot but that it is crucial that all members of the community be heard before any decision is made.
There has been a move toward changing from Native American nicknames throughout the state in recent years. Newtown shifted from Indians to Nighthawks in 1996 and Quinnipiac abandoned Braves for Bobcats in 2002.
In 2015, West Hartford’s Northwest Catholic changed from Indians to Lions. That same year, the town’s public high schools — Hall (Warriors) and Conard (Chieftains) — changed their logos while retaining their nicknames.