Students at a Massachusetts High School are petitioning this week for a change to the school’s mascot, the “Millionaires,” over concerns that some will find it offensive.
Student athletes claim that the “Millionaires” monicker has led opposing school athletes to mock them. Students claim that the name itself is offensive to many. Unlike most complaints about school mascots, the Lenox Memorial Middle and High School doesn’t sport a Native American mascot.
The Millionaire mascot carries historical significance. The name was chosen in honor of wealthy cottage-owners who helped to erect the school.
“We learned how the millionaires who owned ‘Cottages’ in Lenox helped build the school, pay for uniforms and overall supported our residents,”Francie Sorrentino, a School Committee member and cafeteria staffer at Lenox Memorial who has extensive knowledge on the history of the area. “They were central to the survival of Lenox while many citizens left to fight in wars. The `Memorial’ in the school’s name honors the people who did not return from war, and the `Millionaires’ mascot commemorates the wealthier citizens who helped our community.”
Despite the innocuous history of the mascot, Lennox Middle and High School, which was established in 1803, is facing serious pressures to make a change. Based on a poll of students, a two-to-one majority voted in favor of retiring the “Millionaires” mascot because they believe it is offensive to some.
Ninth-grader Julie Monteleone argued that the mascot “divides us within our community, especially because we rarely have a chance to actually explain the meaning behind the name.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org