LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) – A landmark night for Lancaster schools — with the official adoption of a new team name and logo. Students chose one of the seven logos, and in the end, it was “The Legends.”
The school board unanimously voted for the district to become “The Legends.” Karissa Gozdziak, 13, came up with the mascot. She says she hopes people remember this as a time of growth. “The fact that I’m going to be immortalized in this school is so crazy to me, and now it’s going to be a legacy that’s going to be here forever,” She says. “When they hear the name Lancaster Legends, I just want them to be happy and not be angry that it’s not what it was; and we can all come together as a name.”
This highly controversial issue was evident at Monday’s School Board meeting. After the boards’ unanimous vote, community members turned their back against Gozdziak and her family. They wore T-shirts with their message, “Bring the mascot back.”
Lancaster School Board President, Kenneth Graber, was disappointed this happened. “Well I don’t care if they turn their backs to us, we are adults. What I didn’t like was the young student Karissa, she and her family were up there, they turned their back on her. Does she deserve that? Not at all. Is that acting as an adult or as an intelligent person? No,” he says. In March the Board voted unanimously to retire the 70-year-old Redskin nickname. Many considered an insult to Native Americans.
But some community members say it messes with tradition. Godziak says, “Whenever things change, not everyone is going to be happy we were just kind of hoping that it would go smoothly, and the people who support the change would be able to overcome those who didn’t want it.”
School officials are also planning on a retirement ceremony for the redskin name and unveiling of the new legends. The Board President says the district will replace all the stationery, sports equipment, and the athletic uniforms.