Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Logo Debate Getting Heated

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Logo Debate Getting Heated

Article excerpt

In Jeff Jasper's Pascack Valley classroom Thursday morning, there were symbols everywhere. Although you had to really look to find many connected to his legendary basketball coaching career.

There were "Star Wars" trinkets on his desk, a framed smiley face and an American flag hanging along the side.

And next to the flag, there was a shimmering green-and-white Pascack Valley scarf with the school's Indian logo on it.

The school is phasing out that logo, although the Indian name will stay for now.

That image of a proud Native American warrior has been an inspiration to a generation of Pascack Valley athletes, a rallying cry, a link to the school's past.

Now it's inspiring dialogue.

What do symbols really mean? Is Pascack Valley honoring Native Americans by calling itself the Indians? Or is it demeaning them? How important is tradition, or when does something just become tradition for tradition's sake?

Similar conversations probably are taking place around North Jersey, where Indian Hills is the Braves, and Wayne Valley, Passaic and Weehawken are all the Indians, each with their own visual representation of the nickname.

And in Jasper's classroom, the public policy course students almost all agree. They bleed green and white, and Indians are what they are now and forever, even though there is an obvious solution to Pascack Valley's issue.

"When I think of the Indian, I think of the spirit of a fighting warrior," Justin Purcell said.

"I wear my clothes with the Indian logo with pride," Gina Criscuolo said.

In 2015, there are no easy conversations about anything. Everyone has their own opinion, or YouTube Channel where they can spew anger or love about the topic of the day. He, or she, who yells the loudest or says the most ridiculous thing wins - or leads in many Presidential polls.

Then you have the political correctness police.

"A-ha! Political correctness has struck again," will be the comments on the website, decrying the idea before it even can be discussed. …

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