Billboards reignite debate over Paw Paw mascot

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s renewed debate over Paw Paw High School’s Redskins mascot after a new billboard was unveiled along I-94 Wednesday.

The billboard presents a definition of "redskin," saying it is viewed as “very offensive.”, also known as the Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, funded the billboard. Monica Washington Padula, a former Paw Paw resident who identifies as Afro-Native, is a part of the statewide group.

“Paw Paw will not get the last word in telling us who we are. They will not get the last word in telling us how history impacted us,” Washington Padula told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone Wednesday.

She explained that the new billboard was in response to one community members paid for shortly after the Paw Paw School Board voted 4-3 in February 2017 not to change the longtime mascot. The previous billboard along I-94 read “WE ARE THE PAW PAW REDSKINS" and boasted the school’s mascot logo.

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