Parma City Schools will hold community forums regarding a possible nickname change for high school

Parma High School students picked Redmen as the schools nickname in 1936 to honor Native Americans.
Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 8:37 PM EDT
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PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - They have been the Parma Redmen for 84 years and Parma Schools Superintendent Charlie Smialek is well aware of how important the nickname is to some in his community.

“I think it’s an emotional issue because there is so much history involved,” Smialek said.

That said Smialek agreed with some members of the school board who felt it was time for a community discussion about the nickname.

Smialek said that everyone should be aware that perspectives evolve and society evolves and so the district will hold 3 community forums, the district will send out a community survey, and students will be involved once they are back in school.

“We want to be transparent we want to make this a conversation, not just an announcement,” Smialek said.

Smialek said that of the three Parma High Schools, Parma High alumni are the most vocal and active, that they offer scholarships, are active in the building, are visible in the community and their voices, he says, will be heard.

“They have a lot of attachment to their high school years, the high school logos, the high school memories, and the high school colors,” Smialek said.

When Parma High students picked Redman as their nickname they did so to honor Native Americans who they saw as noble, brave, strong, and loyal people.

In the end, Smialek will have to make a decision, but first, he’ll take in all the information the community offers.

“We want to see what the consensus is, we want to move forward, in a way that honors community input,” he said.

If a decision is made to move forward with a new nickname the change, due to time constraints, will not take place this school year.

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