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Linganore High School Struggling with Native American Headdress Ban

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by Hannah Benson

The new football season has already started, as well as a controversial Native American headdress ban at Linganore High School.

Every year, the students at Linganore vote for a senior to be the school’s “chief” of the student section. [1] Seniors, as well as other supportive students, wear Native American headdresses to the football games. However, this year, Linganore Principal Nancy Doll has banned all use of this headdress. Doll explained to the Frederick News Post that, “We want our school to be a welcoming environment to all students and we felt this was the best way to make sure all students felt welcome at school.” [2]

There are two petitions circulating throughout the school and community: one to support the ban, and one opposing it. [1] Many Linganore students will truly miss the loved and cherished school tradition. Linganore sophomore Zack Hunsaker stated, “The headdress has been a tradition at Linganore for a long time and has represented our school. It was never meant to offend anybody or their culture.”

In 1963, Carlton King designed the Linganore seal, including a Native American and two lances. [3] Recently it has been changed to remove the Native American. [3] But in past years, students have worn Native American headdresses to football games as a way to show pride, and support for the school. [2]

Overall, students are disapproving of the ban. Freshman Abbie Peterson reasons, “It hasn’t changed before, so why should it change now?” Opposed to banning the entire tradition, Hunsaker suggests, “If you are offended don’t go to the games.”

Junior Madelyn Leach pronounced, “It’s a high school; it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.” Senior Abe Cain added on, “[At] the end of the day, we are all American.”

Sources:

[1]

http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/maryland-high-school-bans-native-american-headdress-worn-during-athletic-events

[2] https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/education/dueling-petitions-over-native-american-headdress-spark-controversy-at-linganore/article_efc48a81-b357-5e8f-8ae7-9ed26596ec7e.html

[3] https://lhslance.org/2013/features/school-mascot-offending-or-honoring-2/