Teach-In on Redmen Planned

May 26, 2008

Author: Charlie Breitrose

Source: The MetroWest Daily News


A group of clergy from around town will host an event to try to bring people from all sides of the Natick Redmen debate together in an effort try to get them to better understand each other.

The first of a series of teach-ins sponsored by Natick Interfaith Clergy will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church tomorrow night, focusing on the documentary "In Whose Honor?" which follows a similar debate over the use of an American Indian name and mascot at the University of Illinois.

The idea came about after the debate over whether to keep Redmen as Natick High School's nickname and mascot became ugly, said the Rev. Jon Strand, rector at St. Paul's.

"The main initiative came from some people being threatened, and kind of a host of name-calling and accusations coming up around this issue that might distract us from the real question," Strand said.

Earlier this month, the School Committee held a forum to gather public opinion on the issue. Strand said this will be a different kind of event.

"We are not necessarily asking people to start out with their opinion first, but to reflect on a presentation and information and then ask for their responses to it," Strand said. "We want to encourage people to do so in a way that is respectful and caring. There are very honorable motives and reasons on both sides of this issue."