Danville Indians Are No More

DANVILLE - In a historic four to one vote, the Danville School Board Committee voted to change the Danville School's mascot.  90 people were in attendance at the special board meeting that was held virtually over Zoom.

Danville High School, who has been known as the "Indians" for decades, will now begin the process to find a new mascot.  One that is inclusive to all walks of life. The 90 plus people who attended the Zoom conference included current students, alumni, faculty, and parents. Third graders presented a video to the board as to why they believed the mascot needed to be changed. Along with the third graders' presentation, many in attendance talked about their reasons for wanting to find a mascot that better represents the Danville community.

"I think as a school board, our job is to listen to people as best we can, and include the students. We may not agree with what they recommend, or what they're suggesting, but I think we should at least be listening, and it appears that it didn't happen years ago," said Bruce Melendy, head of the School Board. Melendy who is now in his second stint as the committee chairman, admits that when the topic of changing the mascot was brought up in late 1999, early 2000, nothing came from it. Students at the time wanted to change the mascot of the school, but felt their voices weren't heard. It may have taken twenty years for the change to occur, but with the community coming together, their voices have officially been heard.

Carol McGranaghan, the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs Chair, was elated to hear about the results of the meeting. "I'm very pleased. I think it was a very difficult decision for a lot of people, and I know that they had asked for different indigenous perspectives, and I really appreciated that."

McGranaghan who has held the position of chair for the VCNAA since 2018, was also very happy to see the third grade students of the Danville school take part in this historic moment for their community.  "It's really heart warming to know that they want to learn, they're more sensitive I think. Given what mascots were really intended for, sometimes the intent isn't really what the impact has been. It just makes my heart so happy the little guys are the leaders of the future."

As of now, there is no final decision as to what the next mascot will be.  The plan is to form a committee to begin the process, which will include one student, a school counselor, a faculty member, parents, and a member of the select board.