Today Algonquin announced it’s new mascot. ARHS will replace the Tomahawks with the Titans.
The announcement was made by screening a video for students during their last period this afternoon. The news and a link were also shared via the school’s instagram account GonkGram.
The video introduction by Principal Sean Bevan who explained that a mascot should reflect the school’s values of strength, excellence, achievement, and – above all – unity. It was followed by students and staff sharing their positive perceptions of the school.
That led to a voiceover promoting:
We Are All Parts of a Rich History. We Are Scholars and Athletes. We Are Artists and Poets. We Are Innovators and Entrepreneurs. We Are Leaders in Our Community.
We Are. . . The Titans.
You can watch the full video here:
Prior to the vote earlier this month, students from a sports marketing class pitched each of the five choices. For the Titans, some selling points were:
- It’s a symbol of strength, intellect and importance
- Titans were known as fierce warriors
- The mascot will be unique within their athletics conference and the state
- Students can chant, “We are the Titans, the Mighty. Mighty Titans” (inspired by the movie “Remember the Titans”*)
For more on the process behind the school’s decision to “retire” the Tomahawks as its logo, gonkgram points the public to its FAQ page.
The question of whether the Tomahawks logo was racist was publicly raised several times over the years. A public petition in July of 2020 forced the administration to address it again. This time, a study group that was formed to take a serious look. They reported that the school’s use of the symbol was problematic.
They cited studies they looked at that found psychological harm to indigenous others plus the impact on non-Native American students’ perceptions and behavior. (They noted that they couldn’t find any studies showing positive impacts.) The group acknowledged that the mascot wasn’t rooted in ill intent. But members stated that good intent doesn’t remove the harm it causes.
The Regional School Committee approved a recommendation by the administration to retire the mascot, with a phased plan for replacing it on school uniforms and removing it from facilities/equipment.
The decision was controversial as were many steps along the way for creating and narrowing down a list for students to vote for. Eventually, students were asked to use ranked choice voting to select between Eagles, Falcons, Nor’ Easters, Thunder, and Titans.
Now that the mascot choice is finalized, the school will work with a graphics design firm to generate the official ARHS imagery to be used on athletics uniforms, school apparel, etc. At the January Regional School Committee meeting, Principal Sean Bevan hoped they could also have some kind of apparel quickly available for students to purchase.
*Does that mean the Gonk Football team will be practicing some line dancing next fall?
According to the criteria that forced the name change, how is appropriating “Titans” as mascot less culturally invasive and insensitive? Or was this about pressure group politics from start to finish? From Wiki:
In Greek mythology, the Titanomachy was a ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly, consisting of most of the Titans (an older generation of gods, based on Mount Othrys) fighting against the Olympians (the younger generations, who would come to reign on Mount Olympus) and their allies… The war was fought to decide which generation of gods would have dominion over the universe; it ended in victory for the Olympian gods…
The stage for this important battle was set after the youngest Titan Cronus overthrew his own father, Uranus (the sky and ruler of the cosmos), with the help of his mother, Gaia (the earth).
Uranus drew the enmity of Gaia when he imprisoned her children the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes within her womb. Gaia created a great sickle, forged from adamantine and hid it in a crevice on Mount Othrys. Gaia then proceeded to attempt to convince her 12 other children by Uranus, who were known as the Titans, to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the adamantine sickle and positioned him in the same crevice that previously held Cronus’s sickle.
When Uranus met to consort with Gaia on Mount Othrys, Cronus ambushed Uranus, and, with the adamantine sickle, sliced off his genitals, casting them across the Mediterranean. After doing so, Cronus freed the imprisoned Hecatonchires and Cyclopes, by slicing open Gaia’s womb and promptly imprisoned them in Tartarus. Cronus also quickly imprisoned Uranus deep below Tartarus. In doing this, he became the Ruler of the Titans. But Uranus cursed Cronus so that Cronus’s own children would rebel against his rule, just as Cronus had rebelled against his own father. Uranus’ blood that had spilled upon the earth, gave rise to the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae. From the mixture of semen and blood from his mutilated genitalia, Aphrodite arose from the sea where they landed in Cyprus.
…so soon as he had cut off the members with flint and cast them from the land into the surging sea, they were swept away over the main a long time: and a white foam spread around them from the immortal flesh, and in it there grew a maiden…”
Cronus took his father’s title of ruler of land, sky and sea. He then secured his power by forcing his siblings to bow down to his will.
Cronus, paranoid of Uranus’s curse and fearing the end of his rule, now turned into the tyrant his father Uranus had once been, swallowing each of his children whole as they were born from his sister-wife Rhea. Rhea, who began to resent Cronus, managed to hide her youngest newborn child Zeus, by tricking Cronus into swallowing a magnetite rock, given to her by her mother Gaia, wrapped in a blanket instead.
Rhea brought Zeus to a cave in Crete, where he was raised by Amalthea and the Meliae. Upon reaching adulthood, he masqueraded as Cronus’ cupbearer. Once Zeus had been established as a servant of Cronus, Metis gave him a mixture of mustard and wine which would cause Cronus to vomit out his swallowed children, now grown. After freeing his siblings, Zeus led them in rebellion against the Titans…
Dean, They only taught Greek Mythology when our generation went to school. Cut these poor kids a little slack. If you have any questions about Pronouns I’m sure you’ll get a well thought out answer.