PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Shady Side Academy says effective Wednesday, it will stop using the Indian as its mascot and team name.
The board of trustees voted unanimously on the decision.
A letter from the board of trustees chair says at a meeting Tuesday, they decided to review the use of the Indian and decided that “a significant portion of our community feels that it cannot embrace” the mascot or name.
They say students have discussed how the mascot had becoming something “dividing us instead of uniting us.”
“Shady Side’s administration fully supports the trustees’ decision to discontinue the Indian as the Academy’s mascot, and we look forward to leading our community through the process to select a new mascot in the coming months,” said Shady Side Academy President Bart Griffith in a statement.
“As a proud alum and someone who appreciates both the history and continued evolution of Shady Side, I believe we have a unique opportunity to establish a symbol that more fully unites our community and assists in building upon the already strong spirit of the school.”
The letter from the board of trustees says in 1936, Shady Side’s athletic director named the school’s teams the Indians because the Fox Chapel campus served as an encampment for a Seneca Indian tribe in the 1700s.
The letter also says this decision isn’t a way to erase their history, and that they remain dedicated to recognizing this part of their history in the archives.