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Superintendent: “Indians” mascot name is a decision for PNG community

Port Neches-Groves Independent School District Superintendent Mike Gonzales released the following statement in response to calls to eliminate the high school’s use of the “Indians” mascot.

“It seems that recently our school district has been repeatedly challenged by natural and manmade disasters. I’m also certain that many are aware of the recent strides and efforts of individuals to create tolerance and acceptance within our country and society.

“The irony behind those efforts is that the Port Neches Groves Independent School District has received them in the form of written and verbal attacks. It seems that our students, staff and community have come under criticism and ridicule for the 1925 decision to choose the Indian as a mascot. After many years as the Indians, the Cherokee Nations certified and recognized Port Neches-Groves as “Ambassadors of Goodwill.”

“Sadly (July 8, 2020) we received notification to revoke the October 1979 certificate. However, it is important to remember that our PNG schools belong to the PNG COMMUNITY and any future decisions on this topic will also belong to the community.

“Like thousands of schools across the nation, PNG has been working tirelessly to find a way to fight the Covid battle and safely resume a traditional educational setting for our students.

“We will continue to focus on creating an environment that is easy and safe for our PNG students and families.

Sincerely,

Mike Gonzales”