MAPS Superintendent releases statement on mascot controversy

MARQUETTE — The controversy around the mascot for the Marquette Area Public Schools continues to be a major topic of discussion around the area, and their superintendent released a statement addressing the issue on Friday. The topic continues to be discussed around the community and online after the Board of Education Meeting that was held last month to discuss the possibility of a name change.

As of right now, there has been no decision made, but Superintendent William Saunders released a statement today discussing the issue, in it he says that they did not intend for the topic to be so divisive, and that they’re focused on improving the climate and culture of the students at the school. You can read the full statement below:

“Dear Students, Parents/Guardians and Community,

As we continue to receive opinions and comments regarding the Nickname issue, we want to keep the heart of the issue at the forefront.  We are an amazing school supported by an amazing community. We will continue the work to educate on the polarizing points by multiple communication mediums. Below are considerations that I haven’t had the opportunity to share:
I am most appreciative of our entire community for their ongoing support of our students, staff and district. It was never the intention of the Board, staff or administration for the nickname issue to become so divisive. We were focused on improving the climate and culture for our students.  We are seeking solutions to alleviate the stress and anxiety our students experience in what should be their most memorable years of school.  We strive to provide the best possible academic environment for our students.
MAPS students are successful because they work hard, have incredible family and faculty support, and because they grow up in a community that really cares about and supports them. We don’t want to lose support or have students feel the need to “choose sides”.  Community tensions will create student tensions which will hinder student growth and collegial relationships in their high school years.
At this time, the Board has not made any decisions regarding the district nickname. There are many voices that have not been heard and each is important. Ideally, the intent is to seek solutions that improve the school climate and culture while keeping our community united behind a school system everyone can be proud to support.
William Saunders, Superintendent
Marquette Area Public Schools”
ABC10 will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.