Raiders Name/Mascot and Related Imagery Retired from District and Schools
September 3, 2020; Updated 3:55 p.m.
Raiders Name/Mascot and Related Native American Imagery Retired from School District
To foster a fully inclusive community and after listening to extensive community and student comments on the topic, the RTSD School Board voted on September 2 to retire the "Raiders" name/mascot and all associated Native American imagery from Radnor Township School District and its schools. The meeting can be viewed here.
Administration will work to develop a plan for removing all applicable imagery as well as for creating and establishing a new name/mascot, which will include student, community, staff, and alumni input and involvement. The process will also involve creating and establishing ways for students to reflect and learn from the past as it relates to the Raiders name/mascot as well as other Radnor traditions and history, including that of the surrounding community and its history concerning Native Americans.
Board member Liz Duffy, referencing a recent similar discussion concerning a school's mascot at a neighboring district, said an element of that conversation resonated with her: "'There are three things a mascot must do: it must do no harm, it must tell a story about the community, and it must be a symbol for all the community to rally around.' I think this is an opportunity for a fresh start and I want to turn the page and be excited and as great as we can be."
"If you believe [Raiders] has been a tribute and that the association was a positive one, I know that is a sincere feeling and I'm sure that's the feeling I had when I was a teenager at RHS in the 90s," Board member and Radnor High School alum Bradley Moore said. "But the standard of what we know is good and decent [has] changed and we should recognize that. Our tradition isn't a mascot or an image or a name, our tradition is excellence and life-long learning and I want to move forward with that spirit."
The conversation surrounding the appropriateness of the Raiders name/mascot has been taking place since at least 2006, according to a timeline examining the history of the name/mascot presented at an initial August 4 Special School Board Meeting focused on the subject. During that August 4 meeting, more than 140 public comments were heard on the subject. In recent months, the conversation regarding the "Raiders" and calls for the mascot's removal have been amplified through social media and other community-outreach campaigns.
More information will be shared with the community as the process moves forward.