Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dickinson Follow Up

A few weeks ago, I posted about a school in Dickinson, North Dakota with the "midgets" as a mascot. Back in January or early February, the mascot name came up at a school board meeting. In a newspaper story covering the meeting, the school board president invited people to call him on the telephone to share their opinions, either in support of continuing to use "midgets" as a the name of the mascot, or against.

A week and half ago, the Dickinson Paper ran a follow up story. In the more recent story, the board president reports that the majority of the calls have been in favor of keeping "midgets" as the mascot. In fact, from what I've heard, support of the current mascot is so strong, public figures who voice any concerns about the name put their job at risk. In the 1990's, the last time the mascot name was addressed at the level of the school board, the board members who wanted a change were all recalled. I believe most of the support comes from town of Dickinson and from Dickinson Alumni around the country.

With such strong support of the current mascot, if there ever will be a change in the name of the mascot, more voices against using "midgets" as a mascot need to come forward. Though Dickinson adopted the name "midgets" as a term of endearment, because the word today is so closely connected to the objectification, at best, and ridicule of people of short stature, I think the name needs to change. Even with good intentions, I could never have anything to do with an institution connected to the word "midget." And whether or not the family was a part of Little People of America, I would be embarrassed if any parent of a short statured child had no choice but to send his or her child to a school with such a mascot name. If you support changing the name of the mascot in Dickinson North Dakota, I invite to share your feelings with the School Superintendent, Douglas Sullivan. You can send an email to this address:
Douglas thanks

No comments:

Post a Comment