By MARK SARDELLA
It’s now a contest to see which can be dragged out longer: the January 6th investigation or changing the Wakefield Warrior logo.
An item on Tuesday’s School Committee meeting agenda called for a “presentation and vote” on a new Warrior logo to replace the traditional logo which depicted an Indian in a headdress. The old logo had to go because we stole the Indians’ land and using their image in a logo was just one more cultural appropriation.
A School Committee vote on Tuesday night would have at long last put this wholly unnecessary exercise to a merciful end. But true to form, they hemmed and hawed and finally decided to conduct one more student survey before making a decision.
Everybody has known from the very beginning what that decision will be. Barring any unlikely copyright issues, the new logo will be the one modeled after the Ohio State University logo that the School Department tried to quietly roll out in 2020, if not earlier.
Under most circumstances, they probably would have gotten away with replacing the old Warrior logo before anyone in the public really noticed.
But in November of 2020, the Wakefield Human Rights Commission needed something to do, so they enlisted the Wakefield Youth Council to bring the issue of eliminating the old Warrior logo to the School Committee. That got the whole damn community involved, much to the chagrin of the School Department.
Once the cat was out of the bag, they had to go through the motions of creating a new “Logo Policy,” which called for the creation of a “Logo Committee” to develop potential new logo designs and narrow the choices down to three. Those three finalists were to be forwarded to Superintendent Doug Lyons who would pick one and make a recommendation to the School Committee, per the Logo Policy.
The three logo choices presented to the School Committee Tuesday night included one designed by a student, one designed by an adult member of the Logo Committee and the aforementioned pre-existing unofficial logo – a “W” with “Warriors” emblazoned across it, similar to the Ohio State University logo. That’s the one that was being quietly pushed out by the School Department in 2020 (if not earlier), many months before the whole Warrior logo controversy came to a head.
You didn’t need to read between the lines Tuesday night to see that the School Department favored that “unofficial” logo that they had started using well over a year ago.
At Tuesday’s meeting, three adults who served on the Logo Committee reminded the School Committee that their Logo Policy called for the development of a “new logo.” The pre-existing, unofficial logo that the School Department started rolling out almost two years ago, they pointed out, was not new and was not developed by the Logo Committee.
Then, three student members of the Logo Committee told the School Board that they liked the pre-existing unofficial logo and that most of their fellow students preferred that one as well. Assistant Superintendent Kara Mauro said that it was also her strong impression that most students favored the pre-existing unofficial logo.
Well, this presented a dilemma for school officials. How could they select the pre-existing, unofficial logo that they wanted all along without exposing the whole preceding logo selection process as a sham?
I know! Let’s do another student survey! It was plainly obvious that the students favor the same pre-existing, unofficial logo that the administration wants (what a coincidence). So now, all they have to do is conduct a quick student survey, the results of which they already know, and they can go ahead and implement the logo they wanted all along, the one they’ve been using for almost two years.
“That’s what the students want,” they’ll say. “What could we do?”
It’s a great day to be a Warrior.