SHREWSBURY (CBS) – Shrewsbury High School’s mascot will remain the Colonials despite a long debate. The Shrewsbury School Committee received more emails from the community on the mascot than any other, and that includes teaching during a pandemic.
On Wednesday night, the Shrewsbury school board voted 3-2 to keep the Colonials mascot for the high school. A student had requested the change claiming the mascot is racially insensitive and the concept of “colonialism” could be viewed as exclusionary.
Those who wanted to keep the Colonials nickname said it salutes the town’s Revolutionary War history. The intensity of the debate surprised Shrewsbury residents.
“The level of polarizing and frankly vitriol that I have seen has been disheartening to me because I don’t believe it reflects the core values of this community,” said Lynsey Heffernan of the Shrewsbury School Committee. “On the other hand, I could say it reflects a real passion for our mascot, for or against.”
Shrewsbury Schools Superintendent Joseph Sawyer said, “I do not believe that it would be prudent to take the more extreme decision of changing the mascot entirely at this time.”
In keeping the nickname, the school committee unanimously agreed to offer educational opportunities to make sure students and the community know the historic context of the mascot and why it was chosen.