Keelie Johnson and Sidney Bryan are senior band members at Baldwin High School. Johnson said she bleeds black and red. “I love the band,”said Johnson. “I love my color guard sisters.”
Her mother and grandmother went to Baldwin High, and she says they all love the mascot. “It's a tradition,” said Johnson. “Our motto here is 'Once a Brave, always a Brave.' So I'm glad we're keeping it.”
But Bryan is still unsure if keeping the mascot is good idea. “I feel like if anyone is hurt by it, then you need to find a way to make things better,” said Bryan.
Principal Cloise Williams said he and the Baldwin County Board of Education are trying to do just that. He said he understands both sides of the debate. “When we begin to take ourselves away and begin to look at things from a different view, we begin to see how some of the imagery turned into caricatures and mockery,” said Williams.
To rebrand those images, the School Board and Baldwin High School agreed to select images that will be used on school clothes and logos. All school images must be pre-approved, and students must learn about Native American history and heritage.
“We have really worked to be more conscious and clean things up,” said Williams. “And I think we're much healthier today than we were a year ago.”