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Residents fight to keep schools’ ‘Raider’ name while removing Native American imagery

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    RADNOR, Pennsylvania (KYW) — A local middle and high school are without a mascot. Over the next two days, Radnor families are getting the opportunity to talk about a handful of options.

However, there’s a push to keep the Raider in Radnor, at least in name.

Thursday night was the first of several focus groups where community members weighed in on eight possible new nicknames for Radnor High School and middle school.

The “Raiders” lost its nickname status officially when the Radnor Township School District School Board officially voted to retire it in September 2020. Coupled with Native American imagery and its former mascot, the name had been deemed offensive.

“If the imagery never existed would we even be having this conversation? Because there’s really nothing offensive about the name ‘Raider,’” alum Mike Falcone said.

More than 2,400 people agree. A petition that asks to lose the Native American imagery but keep the name has earned plenty of support, and when the committee tasked with finding a new name put out a survey, about 75% of responders supported keeping the name.

“The Raider name has been associated with Radnor for almost 90-plus years now. People have grown up with it. It’s Raider Nation,” Falcone said.

But according to the school district, the board’s sweeping 8-1 vote is a done deal and the process to choose a new nickname has been fully transparent.

“I don’t want that to go away. That means something to me,” Radnor parent Jill Demmy said.

Demmy is committed to keeping the “Raider” in Radnor.

“We are still waiting for the school to give us details on prom and graduation and those things and that’s what I want this administration focusing on,” she said.

So here are the eight names that were narrowed down from a large pool — Dragons, Griffins/Gryphons, Hawks, Phoenix, Rain Frogs, Raptors, Ruckus, or no nickname — just Radnor or “R.”

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