Am I the only one who noticed and reacted to the Op Ed by Paul Van Auken printed in the Summit Tribune on 9/10/19?

Well, Paul, changing the mascot name of the FCHS sports and fine arts groups was tried a few years ago, and wasn't successful. As well, the Spirit Lake High School Indian mascot is still firmly established in spite of a recent campaign--and even a vote--to change it.

One of the reasons you state for wanting the change is the "era of heightened discord and violence targeted at ethnic minorities using human groups as mascots"...to my knowledge, there has never been any in this area. In fact, two of our grandsons have Indian blood coursing through their veins and even while they played football for FCHS, they never once expressed humiliation because of their mascot's name.

It has been my observation Norwegian heritage is frequently celebrated in our area...why can't we also celebrate our Indian history?

It's not like the name is derogatory, such as "savages" -- in fact, nearby Mason City's mascot is "Mohawks," which I'm certain is not intended to make fun of the haircuts of some tribes.

This heritage is expressed in many ways, with pride and to change our mascot's name now would open a can of worms. We'd have to change the name of Winnebago County, the river that runs through our county and town and that factory here that makes recreational vehicles, just to name a few. Where would it end?

I enjoyed your well written, sensitive letter, but even though I've known and loved you since the day you were born, I'm thankful we can agree to disagree.


Karen C. Monson

Forest City, IA

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