Nixes the School District The Santa Maria, a ship built by Christopher Columbus, is featured in the logo.
According to the Santa Maria Times, a high school district in Santa Maria, California, has decided to remove one of Christopher Columbus’ ships from its logo in the near future.
The board of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District reached the decision on Tuesday. The present logo will be phased away, and Superintendent Antonion Garcia will devise a plan to replace it with a new one.
Garcia stated, “I’ll be pleased to push that forward in the near future, maybe not next month, but in the next several months.”
Given that the district is now spending many of its resources to operating amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the superintendent stated that he would not be able to bring forward a timeframe as soon as possible.
The work will begin later in the fall, and students throughout the district will be invited to participate.
According to Britannica.com, the Santa Maria was one of three ships used by Columbus on his first voyage to America in 1492, the other two being the Nia and the Pinta.
Students and community members raised concerns, prompting the decision to at least remove the ship. The Santa Maria Times said that their concerns centered on Columbus’ relationship with European explorers’ cruelty and genocide against the Americas’ indigenous peoples.
“Removing the emblem would be incredibly symbolic for me and the community, indicating that the district is prepared to change,” Yaquilina Aguirre, a Pioneer Valley High School student and member of the Future Leaders of America club, said regarding the decision. “It would demonstrate Indigenous students that we support them, that we have their backs, and that they are free to embrace their culture.”
The school district has been contacted for comment by this publication.
In 1971, the logo first appeared on district materials. The picture was apparently never legally accepted by the school system, but was included into its branding after the city officially adopted the ship as its seal in July of that year, according to the Santa Maria Times.
According to KSBY 6, the city council has not suggested that a replacement for the seal will be considered anytime soon.
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