WATCH: Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School Advisory Council Discusses Mascot Name Change

By  //  November 19, 2020

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Mascot Name change would be first-ever for a Brevard county school

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High Principal Jackie Ingratta announced that changing or maintaining the Edgewood Indian mascot will be discussed by school advisory council members during a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19. CLICK HERE to view Thursday evening’s meeting, beginning at 5 p.m.

In a recent survey of Edgewood’s 725 students, 62.6 percent said they would like to keep the “Indians” mascot, 37.4 percent said they would like to change the mascot and 211 did not respond

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High Principal Jackie Ingratta announced that changing or maintaining the Edgewood Indian mascot will be discussed by school advisory council members during a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19.

CLICK HERE to view Thursday evening’s meeting, beginning at 5 p.m.

“After general business at Thursday evening’s school advisory council (SAC) meeting, the topic of changing or maintaining the Edgewood Indian mascot will be discussed by SAC members,” said the post on the Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School Facebook page.

“All members have had the opportunity to review the hundreds of public comments received over the past couple of months. After the discussion on Thursday, the council will determine whether it is prepared at that time to vote on the issue or whether additional time or information is needed before doing so at a future SAC meeting.

“Because the group does not meet in December, the next meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2021. At every step of this process, the council has been committed to fully and sensitively considering all aspects of this topic that is of such importance to our stakeholders.”

In a recent survey of Edgewood’s 725 students, 62.6 percent said they would like to keep the “Indians” mascot, 37.4 percent said they would like to change the mascot and 211 did not respond.

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Last August, Ingratta announced in a Facebook post that the school was retiring its Indian mascot nickname.

“Since our founding, Edgewood has honored the indigenous peoples of Florida with our mascot, the Edgewood Indian. Generations of Edgewood students have carried Indian iconography onto courts, playing fields, and into classrooms,” said the announcement.

“They have revered the place Florida’s first inhabitants hold in the history of our great county, state, and nation. In that great tradition of reverence, Edgewood is proud to announce that after a meeting of students past and present, teachers, administrators, community members, and other stakeholders, a decision has been reached to retire the Indian mascot.”

HIGHLY RATED SCHOOL OF CHOICE

Edgewood is a highly-rated school of choice, located at 180 East Merritt Avenue in Merritt Island, and includes grades seven through 12.

Edgewood was originally built as a middle school in the 1960s, and as the population fluctuated due to changes in the manned space programs, so did Edgewood, which was closed for a time before reopening as a junior-senior high school of choice.

U.S. News & World Report has included Edgewood in the “Best” category among the nation’s high schools and the school has been named a “Blue Ribbon School” by the U.S. Department of Education.

THE AIS TRIBE: A HISTORY LESSON

The Edgewood Indian mascot was selected to honor and remember the Ais or Ays, which, according to Wikipedia, was a Native American tribe that lived in Brevard County in the coastal areas and islands from approximately Cape Canaveral to the Indian River.

The Ais were thought to be the dominant tribe in the area since 2000 B.C. and had their first contact with Europeans — the Spanish — in the 1500s.

Unfortunately, shortly after 1700, the Spanish began raiding the Ais and the tribe disappeared from area records after 1760 – 16 years before the formation of the United States as Congress voted to declare independence on July 4, 1776.

Florida was under colonial rule by Spain and Great Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries before becoming a territory of the United States in 1821. Two decades later, in 1845, Florida was admitted to the union as the 27th US state.

CLICK HERE to view Thursday evening’s meeting, beginning at 5 p.m.

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