Editor: The end of this school year has special significance for staff and students at CCHS. As they say goodbye to the grads of 2019, they are also saying goodbye to the Crusader.
As a member of the student body, and specifically the student council, that came up with, and formalized, the Crusader name under the guidance, encouragement, and support of teachers and coaches, the decision to change this long-standing team name hits pretty close to home.
A strong, passionate, and vocal group of alumni rose up in protest of this change, writing letters to the powers–that-be, submitting letters to the editor, talking to current students, staff, and parents, discussing the issue with members of the public, and sharing thoughts and feelings among the alumni.
Attempts were made to be involved in the process, only to be denied. The alumni simply wanted a chance to sit down with members of the student body to collaborate on “what it means to be a Crusader.”
What an amazing opportunity that could have been.
Collaborating and creating the school’s own definition of the name “Crusader” could have done so much more to build school and community spirit, morale, cohesiveness, and pride than the divisive, controversial action of a name/identity change.
This has been a divisive and controversial change.
In my opinion this decision to change the Crusader name was completely unilateral, with little to no input from students.
It would appear that, under the guise of democracy, inclusiveness, and political correctness, the school has not only sacrificed its tradition and identity, but it also stands to alienate the very people it purports to be representing and supporting.
It is disturbing how quickly this move to shift the name came about.
To completely change and alter the 45-year-old definition, values, and legacy of the Crusader name, essentially overnight, could be seen as being very one-sided and self-serving.
Had a better process based on research been followed and stakeholders been more involved, the name change may or may not have happened, but at least an informed, comprehensive, thorough, inclusive and complete study would have ensured that the right decision was being made for all. Getting your stakeholders to buy-in is the surest way to success.
I’d like to end by quoting a fellow alumnus who still feels the pride, values, and positive effects of being a Crusader: “At the end of the day, the change is being made. We all know deep down that this won’t change what the Crusaders name stood for and meant to us in all of our times representing our teams, the school and the town. It won’t change the fact that being a Crusader made us all better individuals and better team players as adults. I’m going to take that as a win. The name might be gone, but not the spirit. Long live the Crusaders.”
Good luck to CCHS moving forward.