When I graduated from Roseburg High School in 2002, I remember people telling my class to “Go out into the world and make us proud.” I think we’ve done that. And now, many of us are turning around and asking the same thing of Roseburg: Make us proud. Change the “Indians” mascot that is known to promote discrimination in schools. It is time.

But many residents seem to think that alumni voices are unwelcome on this issue, if our current address is not in Roseburg. They call us outsiders. Meddlers.

It is true that many who find academic success at Roseburg High leave the area — for college and beyond. But for my age demographic and younger, moving away from our hometown did not mean severing those ties. We left Roseburg armed with our classmates’ instant messenger handles — or even cell phone numbers. My peer group then invented Facebook. We’ve had the option to maintain seamless connections to one another and this town, in ways that prior generations simply couldn’t.

The fact that we’re even aware of this discussion proves that we are actively connected to the community. If we are engaging in this issue, it is because we care about current and future Roseburg High students, because we were once in their shoes. Most of us have family in Roseburg. I have a sibling who is a current student at Roseburg High, so this issue is personally relevant for me. My Portland address does not change my present or historical connection to Roseburg.

We are not meddling outsiders. We were your children! We are success stories of the Roseburg Public Schools system. And we are getting involved because we believe that this system can and should continue to progress, for the benefit of all its students.

Megan (Imogen) Bentley

Portland

Roseburg High School Class of 2002

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(6) comments

cipherself

This change has the heavy weight of inevitability. It's the right thing to do and the right time to do it. The School Board must step up to their responsibilities, make the decision and move on.

CitizenJoe

Yes. Consign this vestige of racism to history.

melrosereader

It is incredible to me that some people can't accept the fact that the time to throw out the name and mascot of RHS has long since passed.

Roseburg is already looked at as a place of radical white supremacists. What kind of business would want to locate here? Surely not one that hopes to attract talented workers.

Baulderdash52

Very well said! The legacy of Roseburg Public Schools lies in ALL students, no matter where they live or what they do, being able to engage with their community about things that matter and do it with logic, reason, and kindness!

Imjustme

[thumbup]

garyd

[thumbup] Class of 61.

Welcome to the discussion.

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