Sunday, August 26, 2012

Who Approved This?

Paul Zotos Photo
I am a licensed gun owner.

I am also proud to be an American and proud of our pioneer heritage.

However, I have to question the wisdom of our public decision-makers who have adopted a logo for our new Middle/High School that features one of these proud frontiersmen emphasizing the importance of guns thirteen years after the events at Columbine.

Why not show them scalping a Native American? 

Following is a list of gun violence in American schools in the ten years following Columbine.

Dearborn, Michigan. April 10, 2009. A man shot and killed a female classmate and then himself at MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the campus of Henry Ford Community College.

Dove Creek, Colorado. April 9, 2009. Two teens who were arrested in New Mexico for burglary had planned a shooting spree at Dove Creek High School in Colorado. The teens also planned to shoot the school's principal and the superintendent, as well as the County Sheriff and Undersheriff. Police found three guns in the teenagers' possession and seven more guns at the younger boy's home.

Jacksonville, Florida. March 10, 2009. At least one shot was fired during a fight that erupted among several students at Ribault High School before classes began. Nobody was injured, but two guns were recovered.

Detroit, Michigan. February 17, 2009. A former student snuck into Central High School and was shot by another non-student at the end of the school day.

Wake County, North Carolina. February 12, 2009. A boy pulled a pistol out of his backpack and accidentally shot a 14 year old classmate in the leg while the two were on the bus to Zebulon Middle School.

El Monte, California. February 11, 2009. A third grader accidentally fired a gun while showing it to friends on the playground of Baker Elementary School. Nobody was injured, but there were approximately 100 other kids on the playground at the time of the shooting. The boy says he took the gun from his grandmother.

Clayton, North Carolina. January 27, 2009. Two teenagers were arrested for firing a gun in the parking lot of Clayton High School. A bullet struck the outside wall of the gymnasium, where a basketball game was in progress.

Chicago, Illinois. January 9, 2009. A gunman began shooting indiscriminately from a car into a crowd of people that were leaving a basketball game at Paul Laurence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. Five people were injured.

New Castle, Delaware. January 8, 2009. One person was shot and injured outside of William Penn High School after a basketball game.

North Manheim, Pennsylvania. December 18, 2009. A 17-year old was arrested for plotting to shoot students at Blue Mountain High School. Police found multiple weapons and paramilitary gear at his home.

Montco, Pennsylvania. December 4, 2008. A 15-year old was institutionalized after stealing three guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from his father, and plotting to shoot other students and himself at Pottstown High School. Police began investigating when the father reported the guns stolen. The boy later admitted to the shooting plot and pled guilty to attempted first degree murder.

Savannah, Georgia. November 21, 2008. A 19 year old student shot a fellow student twice after the two argued at Savannah State University. All staff and students were notified and buildings on campus were locked down until the shooter was arrested.

St. George, Utah. November 15, 2008. A 15-year old student died from injuries after the gun he was holding discharged at Desert Hills High School. The gun was a prop for the school play and was loaded with blanks.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida. November 12, 2008. A 15 year old female student shot and killed a 15-year-old classmate in a hallway at Dillard High School. The two girls had been friends for years, but had issues recently. The shooter may have gotten the gun from her grandfather, her guardian, who had a concealed carry permit.

Big Bear, California. October 29, 2008. Five teenage boys were arrested for plotting to shoot students, teachers, and staff at Big Bear High School. Other students overheard their plans and alerted authorities.

Conway, Arkansas. October 26, 2008. Several men in a car drove up to a dormitory at the University of Central Arkansas and opened fire, killing two students and injuring a third person. The police believe the victims were targeted.

San Antonio, Texas. October 13, 2008. A librarian shot and killed a fellow librarian at Northeast Lakeview Community College library, where the two men worked.

Willoughby, Ohio. September 2, 2008. A 15 year old student fired two shots in a hallway at Willoughby South High School. It is believed the boy planned to kill himself in front of his girlfriend.

Portland, Oregon. August 29, 2008. An unidentified shooter fired five or six shots into a crowd leaving a football game at Madison High School. Shortly before the shooting, police arrested a 14-year old carrying a gun in a separate incident nearby.

Opelousas, Louisiana. August 26, 2008. Three students were arrested after shots were fired at the T.H. Harris campus of Louisiana Technical College. No one was injured.

Knoxville, Tennessee. August 21, 2008. A 15-year old fatally shot a fellow 15-year old classmate in the cafeteria at Central High School.

Phoenix, Arizona. July 24, 2008. A former student shot three people in a computer lab at South Mountain Community College. The gunman had a longstanding disagreement with one of the victims.

Boca Raton, Florida. April 30, 2008. One person was injured at Florida Atlantic University when a man pulled a gun and fired twice during a fight at a party. The University was locked down until the shooter was arrested.

Washington, DC. April 29, 2008. A student shot two people at Excel Institute, a vocational school, and then stole two cars as fled from the police.

Omaha, Nebraska. April 24, 2008. An eighth grader was shot in the face during a soccer game at King Science and Technology Magnet Middle School.

Hayward, California. March 31, 2008. A 17-year old boy was shot in the leg at Royal Sunset Continuation School. Three other students are believed to have been involved in the shooting.

Chicago, Illinois. March 29, 2008. An 18-year old died after being shot by a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old outside Simeon Career Academy shortly after Saturday classes let out. There had been a several fights leading up to the shooting.

Chicago, Illinois. March 7, 2008. A 15-year old fatally shot an 18-year-old student outside Crane High School.

Mobile, Alabama. March 6, 2008. A student shot and killed himself in front of 150 other students in the gym of Davidson High School.

Miami Gardens, Florida. February 28, 2008. A bullet grazed the ear of a 17-year old student as he was leaving band practice at Miami Norland Senior High School.

Little Rock, Arkansas. February 27, 2008. A student was shot on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Jonesboro, Arkansas. February 23, 2008. A student was injured when a bullet ricocheted off a building and hit him in the leg on the campus of Arkansas State University. The shooter has not been identified.

DeKalb, Illinois. February 14, 2008. A man entered a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and began shooting. He killed five students and wounded 16 before killing himself.

Paul Zotos Photo
Oxnard, California. February 12, 2008. A 14-year old fatally shot another student in the head while in class at E.O. Green Junior High School. The victim had been bullied at school since declaring that he was gay several weeks earlier.

Memphis, Tennessee. February 11, 2008. A 17-year old shot another student multiple times before handing the gun over to the teacher during gym class at Mitchell High School. The two students had argued over the weekend. There were about 75 students in the room during the shooting.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana. February 8, 2008. A female student killed herself and two others in a classroom at Louisiana Tech.

Memphis, Tennessee. February 4, 2008. A 16-year old student shot another 16-year-old in the leg while in class at Hamilton High School. The injury is not critical.

Washington, DC. January 22, 2008. Four Ballou High School students were shot as they were leaving school at the end of the day. All students are expected to recover.

Las Vegas, Nevada. January 18, 2008. A 16-year old shot at another student outside a basketball game at Cheyenne High School. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Cleveland, Ohio. January 16, 2008. A 16-year old boy pulled a gun from his locker and aimed it into a crowd of students when a fight erupted at South High School.

Charlotte, North Carolina. January 16, 2008. A student at Crossroads Charter High School was shot in the parking lot after an early-scheduled dismissal.

Putnam City, Oklahoma. January 15, 2008. A 17-year old was shot three times in a Putnam City High School parking lot after a basketball game.

Asheville, North Carolina. January 10, 2007. A 16-year old with a handgun shot at a fellow student at Asheville High School. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Gibsonton, Florida. December 17, 2007. Three East Bay High School students shot two other students as they were walking home from their bus stop. The two groups of students had clashed previously.

Las Vegas, Nevada. December 11, 2007. Two assailants using 9-millimeter and .45-caliber guns shot six people as they exited a Mojave High School bus. The attack followed a fight at school earlier in the day.

Oakland, California. December 11, 2007. Three teens were shot after a basketball game at McClymonds High School in a drive-by shooting.

Lagrangeville, New York. November 29, 2007. Three Hudson Valley High School students were arrested for planning a Columbine-type attack and making threats online.

Holland Patent, New York. November 26, 2007. Two Holland Patent High School students shot a gun while on their school bus. Nobody was injured.

Beaufort, South Carolina. November 20, 2007. An 18 year old shot a 17-year old student in the Battery Creek High School parking lot after a basketball scrimmage.

Saginaw, Michigan. October 25, 2007. Two Arthur Hill High School students and two adults were shot by another student as they left a middle school football game.

Portland, Oregon. October 12, 2007. Two teens from Jefferson High School were shot when a gunman fired into a crowd of students that had gathered after the end of their Homecoming Dance.

Cleveland, Ohio. October 10, 2007. A 14-year old student shot two teachers and two students at SuccessTech Academy before killing himself. He had been suspended for fighting earlier in the week and had threatened to harm other students and blow up the school previously.

Norristown, Pennsylvania. October 10, 2007. A 14-year old is arrested for stockpiling weapons and plotting a Columbine-style attack. Police found over 30 weapons in his possession.

Memphis, Tennessee. September 30, 2007. A 21-year old University of Memphis student was shot and killed on campus.

Oroville, California. September 28, 2007. A 17-year old armed with a .22-caliber handgun takes over two dozen students hostage at Las Plumas High School, holding three of them for an hour before police convince him to surrender.

Dover, Delaware. September 21, 2007. A freshman at Delaware State University shot and wounded two other students at a campus dining hall. The shooter, who had earlier been in a fight with one of the victims, has been charged with attempted murder.

Newark, New Jersey. August 4, 2007. Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed execution style by a 28 year old and two 15 year old boys. The three friends were forced to kneel against a wall behind an elementary school and were shot in the head. A fourth student was found about 30 feet away with gunshot and knife wounds to her head.

Dallas, Texas. June 29, 2007. A 17-year old former high school football player shot and injured two other high school students in the school parking lot.

Huntersville, North Carolina. April 18, 2007. A 16-year old male high school student made threatened two high school students with a gun in their school's parking lot and then turned the gun on himself, committing suicide, when police subsequently approached him in a nearby gas station.

Blacksburg, Virginia. April 16, 2007. A student killed 32 students and faculty, and wounded 15 more at Virginia Tech. He was armed with a Glock model 19 handgun and a Walther P22 handgun. It is the worst single act of gun violence in American history.

Gresham, Oregon. April 10, 2007. Ten high school students were injured when gunshots from a rifle shattered a classroom window. A student who attended the school was later arrested and the rifle was found in a nearby field.

Greensboro, North Carolina. March 24, 2007. A freshman was seriously wounded after being shot in the lower back with a .25 automatic pistol while in his dorm room at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A 19 year old arrested and charged with the shooting.

Midland, Michigan. March 7, 2007. A gunman shot and wounded his teenage ex-girlfriend in a high school parking lot in Midland, Mich., before fatally shooting himself.

Los Angeles, California. January 26, 2007. An 18-year old male was shot in the three times and died while playing basketball in a middle school gym. Police were seeking three suspects who fled after the shooting.

Tacoma, Washington. January 3, 2007. An 18-year old student shot a fellow student in the hallway of Henry Foss High School before 1st period classes began.

Springfield Township, Pennsylvania. December 12, 2006. A 16-year old male high school shot and killed himself with an AK-47 in the hallway of his high school. The student, reportedly despondent over his grades, had the gun concealed in a camouflage duffle bag and fired one round in the ceiling to warn other students to get out of the way before committing suicide.

Clinton, South Carolina. November 9, 2006. A North Carolina man, suspected of assaulting his wife, committed suicide after wounding a police officer on the campus of Presbyterian College.

Joplin, Missouri. October 9, 2006. A 13-year old boy, obsessed with the Columbine school shootings, brought a MAC-90 semiautomatic assault rifle (a replica of an AK-47) to school, pointing it at students and firing it into the ceiling until the gun jammed.

Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. October 2, 2006. A dairy truck driver walked into a oneroom Amish schoolhouse with a shotgun, a semi-automatic handgun, and 600 rounds of ammunition, selected all the female students, and shot them execution-style, killing five and seriously wounding six. The man then shot himself, apparently having left suicide notes beforehand.

Cazenovia, Wisconsin. September 29, 2006. A student walked into a rural school with a handgun and a shotgun and shot the principal several times, killing him.

Bailey, Colorado. September 27, 2006. A lone gunman enters a high school and holds six female students hostage, sexually assaults them, kills one of them, and then kills himself after a four-hour standoff.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. September 17, 2006. Five Duquesne University basketball players are wounded, one critically, after a shooting on campus following a dance, the first such incident in the 128-year history of the University.71

Green Bay, Wisconsin. September 14, 2006. Two boys, teased at school and obsessed with the mass killings at Columbine, are arrested for amassing an arsenal of guns and bombs and for planning an attack on East High School.

Hillsborough, North Carolina. August 30, 2006. After shooting his father to death, a student opens fire at his high school, injuring two students. Deputies found guns, ammunition, and homemade pipe bombs in the student's car. The student had e-mailed Columbine High's Principal, telling him that it was "time the world remembered" the shootings at Columbine.

Essex, Vermont. August 24, 2006. A gunman shoots five people, killing two of them, in a rampage through two houses and an elementary school, before wounding himself.

Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota. March 21, 2005. At the time, the worst school-related shooting incident since the Columbine shootings in April of 1999. Ten killed and seven injured in rampage by high school student.

Bellflower, California. March 16, 2005. Another Columbine was averted when two juveniles were arrested for plotting to shoot up their high school.

Cumberland City, Tennessee. March 2, 2005. School bus driver shot and killed while driving a school bus carrying 24 students - from kindergarten through 12th grade -- by a 14-year old student who had been reported to administrators by the driver for chewing tobacco on the bus.

Nine Mile Falls, Washington. December 10, 2004. A 16-year old high school junior committed suicide with a .38-caliber handgun at his high school's entryway around 1:20 p.m.

Joyce, Washington. March 17, 2004. A 13-year old student shot and killed himself in a school classroom where about 20 other students were present. The boy reportedly brought a .22-caliber rifle hidden in a guitar case and pulled it out during the 10 a.m. class.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. February 11, 2004: A 10-year old student was shot in the face and died outside a Philadelphia elementary school. A 56 year old female school crossing guard was also shot in the foot as she tried to scurry children across the street as bullets were flying and children were on the playground.

Washington, D.C. February 2, 2004. A 17-year old male high school student died after being shot several times and another student was injured after shots were fired near the school's cafeteria.

Henderson, Nevada. January 21, 2004. Gunman shoots and kills a hostage in his car on school campus. The gunman was allegedly looking for his ex-girlfriend as he searched the school full of children in an after-school program.

Sugar Land, Texas. November 8, 2003. A 17-year old female high school student was shot and killed as a fight broke out at the side of a stadium at a high school football game.

Cold Spring, Minnesota. September 24, 2003. Two students are shot and killed by a 15-year old at Rocori High School.

Hopkinsville, Kentucky. September 16, 2003. A 16-year old girl fatally shot another teen and then killed herself as the two sat in a car parked at a shopping center across from their school.

Fort Worth, Texas. September 10, 2003. A 16-year old boy fatally shot a classmate, then dumped his body in a nearby construction site.

San Diego, California. September 5, 2003. A 14-year old boy jogging with his high school cross-country team is shot and killed in an ambush by his father, who then killed himself after a standoff with police.

Red Lion, Pennsylvania. April 24, 2003. Principal of Red Lion Area Junior High is fatally shot in the chest by a 14-year old student, who then committed suicide, as students gather in the cafeteria for breakfast.

New Orleans, Louisiana. April 14, 2003. One 15-year old was killed and three students wounded at John McDonough High School by gunfire from four teenagers in a gang-related shooting.

Tucson, Arizona, October 29, 2002. A student shot and killed three professors, and then himself, in a rampage at the University of Arizona School of Nursing, where he was a failing. Reportedly, he had told classmates about a year before that he had obtained a CCW permit.

October 7, 2002. Bowie, Maryland. A 13-year old by was shot and critically wounded by the DC-area sniper outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School.

New York, New York. January 15, 2002. Two students at Martin Luther King Junior High School in Manhattan were seriously wounded when an 18 year old opened fire in the school.

Caro, Michigan. November 12, 2001. A 17-year old student took two hostages and the Caro Learning Center with a .22-caliber rifle and a 20-gauge shotgun, before killing himself.

Ennis, Texas. May 15, 2001. A 16-year old sophomore upset over his relationship with a girl, took 17 hostages in English class, and shot and killed himself and the girl.

Gary, Indiana. March 30, 2001. A 17 year old expelled from Lew Wallace High School kills classmate.

Granite Hills, California. March 22, 2001. One teacher and three students wounded by a student at Granite Hills School.

Willamsport, Pennsylvania. March 7, 2001. Classmate wounded by a 14-year old girl, in the cafeteria of Bishop Neuman High School.

Santee, California. March 5, 2001. A 15-year old student killed two fellow students and wounded 13 others, while firing from a bathroom at Santana High School in San Diego County.

Baltimore, Maryland. January 17, 2001. A 17-year old student shot and killed in front of Lake Clifton-Eastern High School.

New Orleans, Louisiana. September 26, 2000. Two students wounded in a gunfight at Woodson Middle School.

Lake Worth, Florida. May 26, 2000. A 13-year old honor student killed his English teacher on the last day of classes after the teacher refused to let him talk to two girls in his classroom.

Prairie Grove, Arkansas. May 11, 2000. Seventh grade student injures police officer in a hay field north of the student's school after leaving campus in an apparent fit of rage.

Savannah, Georgia. March 10, 2000. Two students killed by a 19-year old while leaving a dance sponsored by Beach High School.

Mount Morris Township, Michigan. February 29, 2000. A 6-year old boy shot and killed a 6-year old girl at Buell Elementary School with a .32 caliber handgun.

Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. December 6, 1999. A 13-year old student, armed with a handgun, opened fire outside Fort Gibson Middle school, wounding four classmates.

Deming, New Mexico. November 19, 1999. A 12-year old boy came to school dressed in camouflage and shoots 13-year old girl with a .22 caliber as students were returning from lunch.

Conyers, Georgia. May 20, 1999. A 15-year old sophomore opens fire with a rifle and a handgun on Heritage High School students arriving for classes, injuring six.

Littleton, Colorado. April 20, 1999. Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 15 students and a teacher and wounded 23 with two sawed-off shotguns and a TEC-DC9 before killing themselves at Columbine High School.

And we all know that we have seen many more such incidents since that ten year landmark.

I’m sure that there are those who will portray me as a bleeding heart liberal. But I believe seeing this image every day cannot help but inoculate students against the serious realities of the role of guns in American society in this day and age.  And, again, I say this as someone who owns guns grew up with guns and hunting and realizes that they have a place in our society.

But that place is not in our new school’s logo.


  1. Ken really, You and everyone knows that grew up in this town that the pioneer has been the schools mascot since the 60's. I realize you went to marianhill or whatever they called it back then for the priviledged kids you could say,i have towels hats book covers key chains and other stuff with that logo on it. You dont change something because of something a mentally ill kid. Is webster suppose to take away the arrows from thier indian logo?, now your going too far. get a job you have too much time on your hands CHEERS

    1. First, Marianhill's mascot was a wildcat.

      Second, there are plenty of other ways to portray a pioneer as something other than a gun-toting conqueror.

      Finally, let Webster take care of Webster. I know the crap Atlanta got over the "tomahawk chop".

    2. Finally, I've been trying to get a job ever since I suffered the accident that disabled me. Got one?

    3. By the way, how many bow and arrow attacks have occurred in American schools?

  2. ken, thats right we called u pussies lol you said it let webster and all the others take care of their problems,we dont have an issue here and if we did dont worry it wont be a gun here it will be a knife if anything. If i come across a job for u i will definatley send it your way because your really stretching it here you need to get out and breath some fresh air , maybe run for council next year thought u were good there something to think about CHEERS

    1. You not only stoop to that level of name-calling, you totally fail to realize your own hypocrisy.

      If anyone deserves to be called that, it is some cowardly troglodyte who hasn’t got the guts to use their own name.

      I put my own name out there and stand by what I say.

      You are nothing more than cave dwelling scum.

  3. First Ken, some people wish to remain anonymous because they do not wish to be attacked personally in either the press or on this blog. However, they still want to add to the debate. Notice, I said some people, but there are a bunch of "haters" out there who wish to remain anonymous to spew their filth. So please don't lump all anonymous posters into one group.

    With that being said, "the gun" of the Pioneer is nothing but a tool. Like a hammer, wrench, or crowbar (which have also been used as weapons) the tool of the pioneer was his link to survival. Absent the tool, the pioneer would have neither access to food nor the ability to protect himself.

    In closing, it is not the weapon that kills.....It is the person wielding it.

    1. In other words, you're the "pussy".

      In addition there were far more "tools" that built this country.

      Third, it's not the weapon that kills, it's the ignorance of those who promote it as an option.

      Finally, you're the "pussy".

    2. So you lambaste another poster for calling names and resort to the same. Well, I guess that when you run out of valid arguments all that you are left with is to start calling people who do not agree with you nasty names.

    3. Are you a total moron or is that merely the "spin" you are trying to use to disguise your hypocrisy?

      Tell us who you are or shut up.

      I think the readers of this blog will see who started the name-calling as well as who has no guts.

  4. If you have an anylitical mind at all you will notice, through the phrasiolgy and grammar that I am not the same person who started the name calling. However you want to perpetuate the myth that you are fair and open minded... Well, we all know the answer to that one. So, I ask you this: why would anyone who has not ingested the kool-aid that you seem to thrive on want to identify themselves in this blog?

    1. Now I'm expected to do a forensic exegesis to determine which anonymous scatological avatar is insulting me. Get real.

  5. Moving past the weapons of sticks and stones being spewed here and back to the issue at hand.

    I am For/Gainst this Artwork!
    I would like to see it redone minimizing the stock of the rifle!

    Pioneers had guns but the depiction of Pioneer's rifle shouldn't be the biggest eye catcher in the artwork.
    This logo was chosen by the previous administration after the old HS gym flooded and this logo was recreated or re- birthed as a change from the previously used logo.
    This suggests that this argument has been had before. It also suggests that the previous administration was HS focused only and had very little concern of the Elementary issues created or it's impact there of.
    Adults have different rules than do children in many various things so I'm ok with the presence of the rifle. After all the police come into schools with guns and kids see them.
    However, adults also must teach children about those boundaries and differences so that they don't act inappropriately.
    Zero Tolerance Policy leaves zero room for common sense.
    Today there is a zero tolerance policy on weapons in school. Meaning if a student draws this school mascot he/she could be suspended.
    Why tempt them into making a bad decision without informing them and teaching the policy first?
    Everyone needs to be responsible here. Responsible to safety, to history and most importantly to Education.
    Adults can't get a gun permit without taking classes and you shouldn't suspend kids without teaching them first about the zero tolerance policy and the differences in rules for adults and children.
    That all said the chosen artwork is more the problem in this educational setting than the gun itself. Keep the rifle but reduce the display of the rifle's butt stock.

    This decision was made in the secretive darkness of the last oligarchy and due to financial reasons we will probably be stuck with it, ( perhaps until the next planned gym flooding? )

    The new administration needs to prove that it is the open door administration it claims to be.
    They need to discuss this issue at each opening day school orientation or risk being called on this hypocrisy of enforcing the zero tolerance policy on weapons in schools

    1. Thank you for re-focusing the discussion to the appropriate issues.
      I apologize for contributing to the heat over light nature of earlier posts.

  6. I don't believe that this decision was done in secretive darkness. Check the past meetings of the school committee and the discussion that was held in open meeting that were televised.

    1. Yes discussions were held at a televised school committee meeting but it was done after the fact because it is always easier to say I'm sorry than to seek proper approval in this town.

      Just look at tonight's meeting on the disposal item to see what happened with the Mascot vote. Assets were retired and disposed of and the Business Manager sought a vote tonight to do it after the fact.

      Another example of this is the light installation at Charlton St field which were put up and then permission to do so was sought by the SC after the fact.

      With the Mascot and the restoration of the Gym Floor again it was a timing thing. The art work had already gone into production of the new gym floor before permission was sought.

      The vote makes it seem like it was done during the light of day but the reality is it was done in secretive darkness because again saying I'm sorry is easier than getting the proper permission to proceed for some in this town.

  7. Ken several versions were given to the Former School Committee Panel by the 2011 Senior Class. The final selection was done by the SC, so if you want someone to complain to I guess it would be them.

  8. It took me several days to read through all of Ken's links, but I do have a comment on this issue. At first, I thought that Ken was making much ado about nothing. I figured, hey, it's just a picture after al (more accurately, an image not a real picture), so what's the harm? Now, before I say what I plan on saying, let me divulge a few things: I am a legally licensed gun owner; I hate political correctness; not all sacred cows have to stay in place, as you can keep a tradition, while changing certain aspects of it.

    The Southbridge Pioneers has a nice ring to it, and if I went to SHS (I didn't), I would want things to stay as they are. I went to Wayland, where the school mascot was a Warrior--or in other words, a Native American. Unlike the Washington Redskins, who's name is a slang for Native Americans, and which I do find offensive, the Wayland Warriors speak to a proud group of brave men from a time long-ago: the Native American, who had to fight to try and keep their land.

    So, the image we're talking about here? I doubt that anyone involved in this decision intentionally put a picture of a person holding a weapon on school grounds to be mean spirited. Rather, I think like I did, they thought it looked cool and, I'll say it, manly. A throwback to a time when the Pioneer spirit ruled the land. But Ken makes a great point, that I'll add to, since yes, Lewis and Clark were Pioneers, and an image of them would do nothing to diminish the Southbridge Pioneers.

    God forbid, something ever happened in the school with a firearm, guess what the first image the television cameras would be showing. No, an image like this doesn't encourage random acts of insanity, but it's just not appropriate in this day and age that we live in to have it be part of our legacy.

    I think it was an interesting idea, but before it gets out of control, I hope the School Committee will re-consider, and change it to something more appropriate to a place of learning. It's not wimpy or weak to state the obvious. It's not political correctness either on this particular topic.

    It's something that talks to who we are: we're either caring educators, or we're people who don't care what the image portrays and what it says about Southbridge.

    Hopefully, this can be easily corrected, and we can focus on the important task of educating our youth.

    1. Though the graphic work by itself is impressive, the decision to use the mascot weilding the massive gun was a poor one for obvious reasons. We are likely stuck with it. The cost to remove and re-do would be prohibitive. As we were told on the new school tour, the building committee wanted to use an updated pioneer logo from the 1970's - a tribute no doubt to the glory days for some on the committee. Same reason McMahon will be the football game field. The new school should be about a fresh start for TODAY'S youth, not about individuals or a small group trying to relive their past.

      This is not about being PC. It is about being responsible citizens and role models for future generations. Pioneer means many things, including: "one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress." Was a colonial dude holding a giant gun the best we could do for 11 - 18 year olds? Really???

  9. So sad; here's yet another...

    Reported Today Via: The Baltimore Sun - Breaking News

    Attempted murder charge has been filed in Perry Hall High School shooting.

  10. time to move on pleaseAugust 28, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    why dont u people get over this This has been the mascot before your so called school committee member was even at southbridge high this goes back to the 60's when wells high school turned in to southbridge high when the new building on cole ave was built in the late 50;s early 60's but of course all of you who are bitching either never went to southbridge high or are transplants from other communities. so why dont you just leave it be and see how things play out you should be more worried on how the new staff and school is going to preform.

    1. I'll be kind in my reply by simply stating: what an odd and unusual response.

      So no one has a right to weigh in on this unless they've lived in town forever? Isn't that the same failed mantra that keeps us electing people in town who never get anything done on the Town Council?

      It's a false argument. As a taxpayer in Southbridge for over twelve years, I have every right as someone who has lived here forever. After all, I've been subsidizing the school system each of those twelve years.

      I have a suggestion: why don't you tell us your name so that, God forbid, there ever is an issue, you can be on record as saying it's no big deal? No, I guess that would not put you in a good light.

      Times change. Do you still use the same TV set you used when you went to Southbridge High School? After all, no doubt it worked fine, but you wanted something bigger, brighter, different, etc. The point being, things change, and stupid sacred cows like a mascot aren't as important as you portray them.

      It's wrong, plain and simple. A school shooting yesterday should be proof positive that this image is outright dumb. You can have your pioneer without having his weapon. After all, what is he hunting for in Southbridge?

      And by the way, I hate to break it to you, but the majority of this town (and country) is made up of transplants. When you wake up, I hope you'll realize that this is the 21st Century, not the 18th. Being born in this town gives you no more rights than me, and gives me no less rights than you.

      Sorry, but we are equal in our ability to comment on this town. Most people I speak with, ironically, are tired of the "old" townie mentality that can't seem to see the forest through the trees, and can't ever find a way to think outside of the box. The easy route is not always the best, as in this case.

      Move on, remove and replace the stupid thing. Traditions do evolve, my friend. So should you.

    2. Ken, might I make another suggestion?

      I've come to the conclusion, after not writing on a blog anymore, that the false reasons that are given for not identifying oneself ("some people wish to remain anonymous because they do not wish to be attacked personally in either the press or on this blog") are exactly WHY they need to identify themselves.

      So, you don't want to be attacked, but you want the right to stay anonymous so that YOU can attack? It doesn't reconcile.

      After watching gutless people post with their beer muscles, I can tell you that their rationale is BS. Look, no one more than me took a beating from people and the papers, but guess what?

      I was trashed by the press and other people, but I have the courage of my convictions to deal with people who disagree with me.

      I enjoy the blogs when there are good arguments, but good arguments by people too scared to put their name to it, who want to criticize but can't take it?


    3. To "Time to Move On Please": You proved my point exactly. Old ways of thinking have not benefitted this community - least of all the schools. Please reread your submission. You yourself indicated the pioneer mascot was developed/changed when the old high school was built on Cole Ave more than 50 years ago. New school = new mascot then. Why not now???

      I did attend Southbridge High School. I am a lifelong resident of this town. I am proud to be an SHS graduate; however, the current mascot is not a source of "pride" or "tradition" for me or my kids.

      The new school building project brought with it an opportunity for new ideas. The mascot was something that we had an opportunity to change or modify in light of the dramatic increase of school gun violence. I am all for the pioneer, just eliminate the weapon.

      And I remind you, our building tour guide specifically said the mascot was an update of the 1970's mascot that the school building committee wanted to use. Hmmmmmm....I wonder if anyone on the school building committee attended SHS in the 1970's? Just asking.

      P.S. Nice job Ken and Dennis. I do not know either of you but give you both credit for articulating thoughtful, cohesive arguments. Smart thinking trumps "tradition" every time.

  11. Being concerned about one does not rule out being concerned about the other - some of us can actually walk and chew gum at the same time.
    Nor is it a problem with the traditional mascot of the pioneer. The issue is the appropriateness of the gun imagery given the history of the last fifteen years and the ever increasing incidences of gun violence in our schools.

  12. I've presented an alternative concept for a school logo on the upper right hand corner of this blog. I leave it to a more gifted artist than I to render it in a more contemporary and appropriate form.

    I feel that it is far more inclusive than the current design. It is as appropriate for a math team or a debate team as it is for an athletic team.

  13. Time to move on pleaseAugust 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Still amaze, may i ask what year you graduated from shs? Guess you never had any pride back then either. You are right there were two members that went to shs in the 70's that sat on the board Im sure you know the two. why dont you stop being such a child on who the school committe member is your so small!Its not the logo thats wrong its the parents of student that bring weapons to school. they need to teach there kids right from wrong. If your son or daughter brought a weapon to school shame on you not the logo its how they were brought up. So teach your children well there wont be a problem!

  14. So teach your children well there wont be a problem!

    WOW Really? - You can teach your children not to do a lot of things but they still make their own decisions which are hopefully more good than bad. The older the student the better able they are to understand right from wrong and the consequences of their actions.

    If you were to say parents need to be responsible and properly secure their guns, therefore limiting access to their children, I'd be with you but you didn't go there.

    This Mascot has no business being brought into the Elementary schools and the PTAs use of it is misguided!
    The new guy hears this being used and thinks its tradition so he uses it in his welcoming video. Good luck enforcing your school policy when it is not being followed by those enforcing the rules.

  15. Bad Feng Shui All-The-Way Around!

  16. It's so sad to watch this car crash. Too much time on your hands..........


All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.