Credit: Duncan Stephenson
Wayland High School to remove Native American imagery from logo
Wayland High School has officially moved away from a Native American spear as its logo. Students recently voted on a symbol to replace the spear, but it is not clear if either design will become the permanent school logo.
The spear had long been a source of controversy among faculty and school committee members in Wayland. According to WHS Principal Allyson Mizoguchi, discussions regarding the spear’s place in Wayland have been taking place among faculty members for years.
“I would say it has been a conversation that’s been happening on and off for the last couple of years. Last school year, we tried to more formally tackle the topic by having a small committee of faculty members discuss the logo specifically,” Mizoguchi said. “It actually wasn’t a group that was designed for specifically that issue, its original purpose was to deal with issues centered around multiculturalism and diversity, but they ended up really latching on to the topic of the school logo.”
This school year, the Athletic Advisory Committee began discussing the possibility of changing the school logo and potential alternatives to the spear. The AAC is led by Athletic Director Heath Rollins and is made up of Wayland High School teachers, student-athletes, school committee members and Mizoguchi.
The majority of the school’s student body has expressed displeasure with the removal of the spear. Although it is a largely unpopular move, as 69.9% of the 292 students and faculty members polled said they did not support the removal of the spear, Mizoguchi says that the decision to move away from the spear is final.
“I understand the emotional and cultural connection to a school logo…but we are firm in our desire to move away from Native American imagery,” Mizoguchi said.
The two logo designs offered as options during the student vote were also widely disliked. Mizoguchi says that administration is hoping to find a new process to decide on a replacement for the spear.
“I respect the fact that some students have reached out to me personally and made extremely wise and respectful suggestions around ideas for a different process where student artists could be involved in the creation of different logos and then put to a vote,” Mizoguchi said. “I agree that there are many student artists that probably have ideas, so I think that it’s important that students understand that it is important to us that students feel good about this logo.”