Headdress causes controversy at a Frederick County high school

A decades old tradition at a Frederick County High School has come to an end after some people complained students were being insensitive to Native Americans.

FREDERICK CO., MD (WUSA9) - A decades old tradition at a Frederick County High School has come to an end after some people complained students were being insensitive to Native Americans.

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At Linganore High School, students cheer on the football team in a student section called, "The Tribe." Every year, one student is designated the "Chief" of the Tribe and gets to wear a headdress at games.

However, this year, the school's principal asked students not to wear that headdress. Jacob Garwood, 18, was supposed to be the Chief during this year's football season. He said the principal asked the Tribe to stop the tradition during a meeting.

"We went in, and they mentioned something about the headdress," he said. "Because of the issues that are going on in the country, right now, (they said) we don't know if that would be a great idea."

The school's assistant principal told WUSA9 both sides then came to an agreement that students would not wear the headdress at games, but at that point, the discussion had already made its way online.

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Fifteen hundred people, some of whom live outside of Maryland, signed a petition saying the headdress should go. One post read, "Indigenous culture and spirituality should not be treated like a prop or costume." Soon after that, another petition popped up with 2,000 signees that asked that the headdress is brought back.

The school said it is willing to work with the Tribe to find an alternative to the headdress for the rest of the season.
 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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