Friday, school officials said they had nothing new to report regarding their investigation into the alleged incident.
“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.
Fairfield High School officials said the student reported the alleged threats Wednesday and minutes later they immediately notified the high school’s security resource officer (SRO) to initiate an investigation.
“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 10,000-student school system feature an illustration of the mascot, depicting a warrior’s head adorn in a headdress worn centuries ago by some Native Americans.
The Fairfield school system was created in 1929 but the year of the incorporation of the Indians name and mascot are not known, said school officials.
Besides the mascot images, a life-size, carved in wood depiction of a statue of a Native American warrior stands in the high school’s main office — a gift from the Fairfield High School graduating class of 2009.