People in Wakefield, Massachusetts will vote on the whether to get ride of the town's Native American mascot Tuesday, but the results won't change the school committee's decision.
Last month, the Wakefield School Committee voted 5-2 to change its longtime Native American mascot in response to criticism that it was offensive and racist. Committee members decided to keep the Warriors name.
But the town remains starkly divided over the decision.
The debate has generated strong opinions ahead of Tuesday's referendum in which voters will decide whether to keep the Native American image on the Wakefield Warriors logo.
The referendum, however, is non-binding, which means that it cannot force the school committee to reverse its decision.
It’s unclear when a new logo will be chosen.
Dozens of lawn signs dot front yards throughout town, some urging the school committee to keep the mascot and others advocating for its removal.
The debate over the mascot follows decisions by professional sports teams to drop controversial names in recent years. Both the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians changed their names in 2020.
Those who want to change Wakefield’s logo have said it’s a harmful stereotype, while those who want to keep it counter that it's a part of history.