Several alumni and parents took the opposite view.
“I want to show you this,” Kate Evans said as she walked around to the board members while holding a Redskin flag and showing them buttons from Cooperstown sports teams that featured pictures of her sons Ryan, Grant and Jay Davine. “These are my Redskins. My pride in being a Redskin is intact, and my pride in my children is intact.”
The only current students to speak all spoke in favor of changing the name, as did several other alumni and residents. “I find the name offensive,” Cooperstown junior Catherine Borgstrom said. “It is not okay with me to be called the Redskins.”
“I just want to clarify something,” board member Teresa Russo said. “The students brought it to the board. That’s how it came up. Several students brought it up to the superintendent and to the board president, not the other way around.”
Although the meeting sometimes got contentious, many speakers also asked for the debate to be respectful. “I feel like some of the comments I have read online and some of the comments I have heard in this room tonight have been a little too accusatory,” Cooperstown alumni association Vice President Chad Welsh said. “I would ask that we keep it respectful and that we keep it fair.”