MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Edgewood Jr/Sr High School has taken the first step toward replacing its longtime mascot, the Edgewood Indian, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.
In a letter to parents Thursday, officials at the Merritt Island school said a review committee formed of students, teachers, administrators and community members unanimously agreed to change the mascot, which has come under renewed scrutiny from local critics amid heightened racial tensions around the nation.
“Since our founding, Edgewood has honored the indigenous peoples of Florida with our mascot,” the letter said. “In that great tradition of reverence, Edgewood is proud to announce that ... a decision has been reached to retire the Indian mascot.”
“We do not come to this conclusion lightly,” the letter went on, saying the committee was formed following the urging of “numerous” community members to consider changing the mascot.
The recommendation must go through a lengthy review process that includes community feedback before it is finalized. That could take up to a year, according to an email from Brevard Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Soliven obtained by FLORIDA TODAY.
The school will next present the recommendation to its School Advisory Committee, which meets in September. The meeting will be open for public comment, Soliven’s email said.
School officials declined to comment, referring questions to the Brevard Public Schools Office of Government and Community Relations.
The mascot has recently come under fire from some parents and students, who criticized it as “racist” and “out of date.”