The school is delaying mascots’ voting on fears associated with lynching
A Portland high school postponed a vote to turn its mascot into an evergreen tree amid concerns about possible links to lynching, a report said.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School – named after the prominent black activist and reporter who documented the lynching – was due to vote on the new mascot last Tuesday until a board director shared community concerns over the tree’s pictures, the company said Portland Tribune.
“I wonder if there was any concern about the pictures using a tree … as ours
Mascot? ”Michelle DePass, director of the Portland Public Schools Board of Education, asked at the meeting.
“I think everyone comes with blind spots and I think that could have been a really big blind spot.”
One of the committee members involved in the selection of the evergreens mascot said the issue was raised during the process.
“We talked about it, but we saw the symbolism as the tree of life rather than the tree of death,” said Martin Osborne.
Osborne, who is black, said the evergreen mascot “has nothing to do with the terrible history of the lynching in the United States. Lynching trees are usually not evergreen. “
DePass suggested that the committee reach out to the Wells-Barnett family to ensure they are on board with the new mascot before the scheduled vote at the next meeting.