Reading into the symbols

East Scarborough is a multicultural society that is being robbed of its diversity. We are constantly cleansing our schools of one culture to avoid offending another.

In the Toronto District School Board, Christmas is the Holidays, Halloween is Black and Orange Day, and local team West Hill Warriors are protesting the possible change in their team symbol, which depicts an aboriginal person.

The days and symbols were deemed offensive to others. Christmas and Halloween, both containing national popularity, cause some people to participate in a tradition they don’t belong to.

The West Hill Warriors logo also raises some concerns.

Some people say there’s a clash between the Warriors name and the aboriginal symbol. Teachers and community members believe Aboriginal People were peacekeepers, and the title of Warriors is misleading.

The public board has created a committee consisting of students, alumni, teachers and community members to determine if the logo should stick around.

There are several things wrong with this focus on the symbol.

This local high school is not the first sports team to take on an aboriginal team logo. There are several teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks and several lacrosse teams, that sport native team logos on their clothing.

They display Natives as proud and noble warriors – as they have been in their past.

Scarborough has problems beyond symbolism. We have crimes, funding, education and politics to worry about and discuss each day. So long as we educate students about the aboriginal culture, there’s nothing truly harmful about the team logo.

We all need to be represented in our own way. Every October, several children celebrate Halloween, and they have fun doing it.

On Christmas, people open presents and enjoy time with their families. Both days allow people to get together as a community – something rarely done in positive circumstances.

Children in our local schools need to be exposed to different cultures beyond their own. We all live in a very diverse population, which requires us to understand our differences and appreciate multiculturalism.

We should be adding more cultural celebrations to our schools, rather than sterilizing the ones we currently have.

The most important thing children can gain in school is an understanding toward different cultures and awareness of when a culture or symbol has been truly wronged.

When the poppy bandit stole several donation boxes from the east Scarborough area last week, no one questioned whether he was right or wrong.

Then again, with the way things are going these days, the Remembrance Day poppy might be deemed as a symbol for opium and taken out of schools as well.