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EUGENE, Ore. — To Julia Scher, a apprentice at South Eugene Aerial School, the school’s aggregation name, the Axemen, represents “all the means in which girls are advised additional at our school.”
In a account to the Oregon Accompaniment Lath of Education, Scher, 15, said the male-gendered moniker has an aftereffect on students, whether they see it or not, and that the name perpetuates abiding bigotry beneath the guise of tradition.
“The amulet name, Axemen, has fabricated me, and abounding of my teammates and accompany feel afar and beneath important than the boys, not aloof in athletics, but every day in little ways, all over the school,” Scher said. “I apprehend that the name Axemen was not created with the ambition to discriminate adjoin girls. It was created a continued time ago, back girls were not advised able abundant to attempt in sports. As a constant athlete, I am animated those canicule are continued over, but unfortunately, we still animate with abounding extra issues, including diff locker rooms, attitudes about girls sports, and the name Axemen, which excludes anybody who does not analyze as male. These assortment affect girls’ lives by befitting stereotypes animate and agriculture into the abstraction that girls are not as aces as boys.”
Scher apprehend her statement, blue-blooded “I am not an Axemen,” to the lath beforehand this ages in the achievement that the lath would add a aphorism or action barring schools in Oregon from “discriminating on the base of gender” through their aggregation names and mascots.
No accompaniment or bounded commune rules currently prohibit Oregon accessible schools from application gender-based mascots or aggregation names.
Only a scattering of aerial schools in Oregon accept gender-based mascots or aggregation names, including the Astoria Aerial Academy Fishermen, the Grants Pass Cavemen, the C.S. Lewis Academy Watchmen, Benson Polytechnic Aerial Academy Techmen and the Sherwood Aerial Academy Bowmen. Oregon had 247 aerial schools in the 2016-17 academy year. Almost all of the schools are represented by beastly mascots.
Scher is not the aboriginal apprentice to adduce alteration the Axemen aggregation nickname.
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District backer Kerry Delf afresh accepted that there accept been “some student-generated petitions and discussions about alteration the Axemen name in accomplished decades.”
Scher said she’s able-bodied acquainted of that.
“This complaint about the Axemen actuality gender abominable has been filed alert before,” Scher wrote in her statement. “I apperceive I’m not alone. I achievement you can accept how the Axemen and added male-gendered mascots are shushing girls in added Oregon schools, too. They are not acquirements about disinterestedness or according rights, or how to be confident, or how to be leaders. They are acquirements how to be quiet and how to be shushed.”
The commune accustomed that the aggregation name dates to an era of all-male sports teams, as acclaimed in the school’s online history:
“The axe was the aboriginal attribute that acceptance and athletes rallied about at the school, and the aggregation name The Axemen has been in use for some teams back the 1930s, a time back interscholastic sports teams were all male,” the commune website states. “Over the years, and afresh recently, students, parents and association associates accept aloft apropos that the aggregation name The Axemen may not be across-the-board of all athletes and students.”
Whether the Axemen aggregation name will abide to represent South Eugene Aerial Academy charcoal to be seen, but a association appointment appointed for Wednesday in the school’s amphitheater is acceptable to abet a active discussion.
The commune has admission students, alumni, Eugene commune agents and absorbed association associates to allotment their thoughts on whether it’s time to change the Axemen aggregation name. Hundreds of signatures on a address already adjure to abutment for alteration South Eugene’s aggregation name to one that is not gender-specific.
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