Redmen name and logo will remain at Parma High School
“I cannot in good conscience say that changing the Redmen is our community’s preference at this time.”
PARMA, Ohio – Editor’s Note: The above video is from 3News’ A Turning Point series on Native American sports nicknames
After more than two years of discussions with community members, students and staff, Parma High School will continue to use the Redmen name and logo.
In an emailed statement to 3News, Parma city school principal Dr Charles Smialek said the sentiment in the community was widely shared. “Those who responded to our survey were strongly opposed to a change, while those who attended our town hall meetings indicated their desire for a new nickname and logo.
Smialek says he met three distinct groups of student leaders at Parma High School and noted that their desire to keep the logo was “clear and well-motivated.” They believe the Redmen logo symbolizes the core values of strength, honor and courage, “he added.
“Ultimately, school districts represent and serve their communities. I cannot in good conscience say that changing the Redmen is our community’s preference right now,” Smialek said.
The district first considered a possible name and logo change for Parma High School in the summer of 2020 amid calls for racial justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers. Members of the community raised red flags about the mascot at a school board meeting a month after Floyd’s death.
“We want to get consensus, we want to hear from both sides,” Smialek told 3News in July 2020. “We’re really trying to consider all perspectives.” (You can watch Lynna Lai’s report on the district’s initial move to consider a change below.)
The National Congress of American Indian reports that Ohio has the most schools with Native American mascots of any state. Research from the Ohio High School Athletic Association shows that this includes 78 high schools.
You can read the full statement from Parma City School Director Dr Charles Smialek at 3News below:
“Having engaged community members, staff and students in various forums since the summer of 2020, we are not changing our Parma Senior High Redmen name and logo at this time. The sentiment of the community is widely shared: those who responded to our survey strongly opposed change, while those who attended our open meetings indicated their desire for a new nickname and logo. This year, I met three distinct groups of student leaders at Parma Senior. Their desire to keep the logo was clear and well motivated. They feel that the Redmen logo symbolizes the core values of strength, honor and courage. Ultimately, school districts represent and serve their communities. I cannot in good conscience say that changing the Redmen is our community’s preference at this time. “