MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC/Gray News) - Community members are questioning if the use of Marquette Senior High School's nicknames "Redmen" and "Redettes" is culturally insensitive.
People who live in Marquette, Michigan are questioning if the "Redmen" and "Redettes" nicknames at a high school are culturally insensitive, and if that's impacting students' ability to learn. (Source: WLUC/Gray News)
"Really that the research is overwhelming, and that it is creating an adverse learning environment,” said Joe Lubig who is on a committee looking into the nickname.
Lubig said the community is justified in asking about the nicknames.
"Are they in conflict with what we do, who we are and what we need to do to create a positive learning environment?” he said.
In October, Lubig says the school board and Superintendent Bill Saunders asked the MSHS Nickname Research Committee to review the school's nickname.
At the time, several community members questioned whether or not those name are culturally insensitive or if they are a sense of pride for all students in the community.
"What the research is saying, in this instance, is that it's creating an adverse learning environment for every student because there's that tension and that conflict,” said Lubig.
Several years ago, the school was able to change its logo from a Native American headdress to the letter "M."
Some said this isn’t enough, and the nicknames need to change as well.
Lubig says the committee is trying to learn why the nickname is creating this environment and what the rationale would be.
This is why the committee is asking anyone with evidence to share.
"The more emotional pleas - we really encourage members of the public to go to a board meeting to express those concerns,” Lubig said.
The committee has until December 16 to make a recommendation for the use of those nicknames.
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