The following is an open letter to the Rutland City Schoolboard of Commissioners.
First, let me say thank you all for serving our City in this capacity. As a former member the of the Rutland City Board of Alderman, I understand both the courage and the commitment to serve in the public spheres. That said you have a responsibility to the community at-large not to the few.
It is no secret that I support the Raider name, and that the Raider must be restore to Rutland High School. It’s our history, our traditions and it’s in the hard-work and dedication to the tens of thousands of student-athletes that wore the Raider name in the athletic facilities, the music concerts, the marching bands, cheerleading and majorette teams, debate teams, spelling contest and everything representing our Rutland High School.
Additionally, as a person with a proud native American heritage with both my paternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather’s families with direct Indian blood in the Mohawk nation removing the Raider name is a slap in their face. Using their culture teaches every day people and promotes their rich heritage. My grandparents were proud Natives and would support the use of their history being used by local schools and other groups.
Honoring the memories with their rich traditions as Native Americans is the right things to do! Just because the Federal government mistreated the Natives and some sportswriters at the Herald dating back to the 1930’s wrote sports articles that unhinged people 80 years later is not any reason to change our City’s strong traditions and community identity. Solid education is the answer! Teaching the true history about the way Natives were treated and their rich culture is the right thing to do so that we do not repeat our forefathers bad decisions.
I respectfully ask that you restore the Raider name. Do not drag this on any longer, take the vote! Although the last Schoolboard leadership team tore our community apart this issue has been discussed and the citizens, “We The People” want to move-on. Thank you.
Gregory M. Thayer, MBA, Rutland City