New Mascot Swoops In

Eagle Joins Colonel Parker

Parker has been upgrading parts of the school over the years, from the field to the library, and the latest is the new mascot. As announced at the Homecoming MX, our new mascot is the Eagle. The addition, while it has good intentions, is not a necessary one, and the problems it was meant to fix, remain.

There are multiple reasons the Eagle was added, one of which was to make the school more inclusive in terms of race and gender, which I get, but the whole point of having Colonel Parker be our mascot is to honor the founder of our school, not to promote any other message. Another issue with the Colonel was that it was frightening children, and this issue really seems like one that is not going away, even with the eagle.

“We noticed that the Colonel mascot,” Athletic Coordinator Bobby Starks said, “that suit, was very scary to our younger students, 3rd grade and down.” But here’s the part that confuses me: What will adding another mascot do to resolve this issue.

The Eagle is not a replacement for our Colonel Parker mascot, which will remain for years to come. It wasn’t because it is near and dear to Parker alumni, who grew up with this mascot. And all our teams are still going to be referred to as “the Colonels.”

The Eagle and the Colonel attended the Homecoming MX, and will attend the White out Games, and several big games in the spring. They will be attending games together and supporting our teams. And while Latin has a mascot that isn’t really inclusive in terms of gender, a male Roman gladiator, they have yet to make any changes.

This mascot suit has been here for about 15 years, so it is bound to become worn. It is actually our very first mascot, though we have always been the Colonels. But why change to an animal character rather than remaking the old costume to look less scary? aving an animal character versus a human character allows you to be more flexible with your movements, it’s more believable to the audience. After all, many professional team mascots are animals, like our very own Chicago Bears. Lots of teams use this tactic Starks mentioned, so it makes sense to switch to some kind of mascot less scary, and possibly more friendly for the younger children.

Still, the addition of the Eagle to our repertoire of mascots here at Parker confuses me. I don’t really see problems being solved with this addition. Dr. Frank, when asked what were the main reasons to get a whole new mascot but not replace the Colonel, said it was solely to find a symbol that would be even more inclusive for the whole school community and wanting to create something new, and at the same time hold on to something that still held value.

Lots of schools are changing their mascots and names as teams become more aware of how race and gender can prove not to be inclusive for all students. For instance, all throughout Ontario, schools are being told to stop using offensive mascots, names, and symbols for their schools. Schools are trying to be more inclusive for all students and often mascot choices do not reflect the student body.

While that staying inclusive may have been one aspect of the change to the eagle, the issues revolving around scaring younger children still remains. If the old mascot is still coming to the games, and walking around with the crowd, wouldn’t the issue of kids being scared remain? I just don’t fully see the issues going away, even with this new addition to our mascots. I think a new solution to this should be to simply honor the old mascot with a picture, or put it somewhere the whole school can see it and remember the mascot with, but remove it from to games, where it could possibly scare and alienate more children.