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Holland Public Schools considers changing "Dutch" mascot name

The district's Community Advisory Committee will review the "Dutch" mascot.

HOLLAND, Mich — Holland is known for its rich Dutch heritage. But, the city's school leaders want to be known for equity and inclusion, as well. Holland Public Schools (HPS) informed parents that the district is taking a closer look at the name of their mascot "The Dutch."

On Monday, Oct. 5, members of the HPS Board of Education unanimously voted to create an advisory committee of community members to participate in an ongoing conversation concerning the use of The Dutch as the district's mascot. 

The decision followed a report from the District’s Equity Alliance. It concluded that some of the traditions celebrated in the district are falling short of the core values of Equity and Inclusion.

"The use of The Dutch as a mascot does not invite a sense of belonging or inclusion for many of our students and their families," Andrea Mehall, HPS Equity Alliance Chair, said. 

This week, Superintendent Dr. Brian Davis and his staff began the process of forming the advisory committee of interested and open-minded community members.  

"We recognize the sensitive nature of this conversation; some may be offended by the consideration of dropping the Dutch mascot and wonder why a change is needed," Superintendent Dr. Brian Davis said in a letter to parents. "We want to hear these voices. We want to hear the voices of those who feel they don't belong because of our continued use of our current mascot. We also want to include individuals who fall somewhere in between these two voices. This conversation will require all points of view and open minds from all those who participate."

Additional information about this Community Advisory Committee is available on the District website at www.hollandpublicschools.org/mascot. Anyone interested in participating in this conversation is asked to fill out the online form on the website.

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