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Timeline revealed for naming of new Canton High mascot

 Timeline revealed for naming of new Canton High mascot

A sign that formerly welcomed visitors to the Canton High School varsity softball field sits among a gathering of weeds.

Canton High School will have a new mascot — replacing the 50-year-old “Chiefs” — by Nov. 1, according to a recently-released Plymouth-Canton Community Schools memo titled “Embracing Change: Canton High School Mascot Transition Plan 2023-24”.

The memo is divided into two sections: Retirement Phase: Retiring the Chiefs and Arrowhead Logo; and New Mascot Phase: Process for Selecting the new Canton High School Mascot and Logo.

The P-CCS Board of Education voted 6-1 (board member Sheryl Picard cast the lone vote to retain the mascot and logo) on July 12 to retire the Chiefs mascot and arrowhead logo despite results of a survey the board endorsed (with over 6,200 people responding) that confirmed a large majority of members of the Plymouth-Canton community wanted the mascot and logo to stay.

Canton athletic teams will be referred to simply as Canton High School with a block C for a logo throughout the remainder of the 2023-24 school year.

The idea to retire “Chiefs” gained steam in February of 2021 when a Salem student delivered a presentation to the board arguing the mascot and accompanying arrowhead logos were disrespectful to Native Americans and can lead to cultural appropriation.

Who will choose?

According to the memo, a Student Mascot Selection Committee will be formed this week.

Canton High arrowhead logos are posted throughout the campus
Canton High arrowhead logos are posted throughout the campus

Canton High students will be allowed to submit ideas for a new mascot, including “visual representations, explanations, and rationales behind their choices” Sept. 13-29.

Members of the committee will review all submissions and create a list of the top 10 ideas. This list will be announced on STS and social media on Oct. 4.

Canton High School students will vote on the new mascot from Oct. 4-13, with the top three vote-getters announced Oct. 18.

Final voting from the top three will run from Oct. 18-27 with the final recommendation forwarded to the Board of Education for final approval on Nov. 1.

Unveiling and farewell events set

A special event will be held to unveil the new mascot, the memo added.

A “Farewell Game and Ceremony” will be held to “acknowledge former students and reminisce about the Chiefs mascot’s significant role in fostering school spirit and enhancing athletic competition.”

The rebranding process is not inexpensive.

Okemos (Mich.) Public Schools’ recent decision to change its nickname from Chieftains to Wolves (replacing names and imagery on scoreboards, gym floors and uniforms, to name a few items) cost over $400,000. The Board of Education has not yet revealed a plan to cover the costs of the rebranding.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

 

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Ed Wright

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