A raging controversy over whether the city's only public high school should revive its warrior logo raised tempers last night at a meeting of Cambridge's School Committee, but the committee's head said the issue should be left to the students' discretion.
The conflict began earlier this year when a Native American student at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School complained that the school's mascot, an Indian warrior, was racist. The student also objected to flyers announcing the grand opening of the school store, the Rindge Trading Post, said student government advisor Clarence R. Gaynor.
The Cambridge Rindge and Latin's administration brought the issue to Schools Superintendent Mary Lou McGrath, who decided that the Indian should be abolished.
"I feel we have to respect everybody, and if something's offensive to one person in the community, then we have to pay attention to it," McGrath said last night.
But members of the Rindge alumni association--which consists of students who graduated from the school before it merged with the Cambridge Latin School in the early 1970s--want the warrior back. They organized a petition, signed by 300 former students, demanding that the mascot berestored.
At last night's meeting, Ted Darling, executivesecretary of the Rindge Alumni Association, askedMayor Alfred E. Vellucci and the School Committeeto review the decision and prevent a recentlyformed screening committee from developing analternative mascot.
"We just want to keep it," Darling said, addingthat the warrior symbol has been a Rindgetradition since the 1920s.
But Vellucci said a forum of the student body,not the School Committee, should decide thematter.
The student-administrator screening committeeis currently reviewing entries in a contest for anew logo that could also become a mascot. Thecommittee plans to submit five entries to astudent referendum later this year