Last week, both Fairfield Twp. police and Fairfield school officials said they were investigating allegations made by the girl, who told the Journal-News’ media partner WCPO-TV she is Native American.
“I expected a negative response, but I did not expect, like, the threats that I’m getting,” said Joelle Reid. “And definitely not people calling me racial slurs,” reported WCPO-TV.
“Some of them have been like telling me to kill myself or saying that they’re going to kill me or sexually assault me and calling me racial slurs.”
Students enrolled in the 10,000-student Fairfield Schools live in either Fairfield Twp. or the city of Fairfield.
“Calling people Indians isn’t empowerment,” said Reid. “I think that part of the reason why people think that it is, is because they claim that, well, it’s calling you guys scary and cool, but it’s not. I don’t want to be scary and cool. I just want to be a person.”
Her contribution to a conversation surrounding Fairfield’s mascot isn’t a new one — in 2020, a student-led group called Fairfield for Change began pushing for a rebranding of the mascot, according to reporting by WCPO-TV.
Parts of the exteriors and interiors of many of the schools — including signage — in the school system feature an illustration of the mascot, depicting a warrior’s head adorned in a headdress worn centuries ago by some Native Americans.