Over Native American Mascot Name Change... During a break in the meeting, the school board secretary confronted a vocal and angry parent. Tempers flared and a punch was thrown.
December 16, 2021

Last year, the school board changed the Glastonbury High School's Native American-inspired mascot and team name from the Tomahawks to the Glastonbury Guardians after being asked to do so by the National Congress of American Indians. Well, because of COVID, everything was done online, without much public input and it seems some took out their grievances very vocally, even though the decision was made last year.

Source: Daily Beast

A Connecticut school board member was slugged in the face by an angry parent Tuesday night during a debate on the future of Glastonbury High School’s Native American-inspired mascot.

The dust-up between the parent, Mark Finocchiaro, and board secretary Ray McFall, took place during a 10-minute recess after tempers flared amid a public comment period about the Glastonbury Tomahawks name, which was changed last year to the Glastonbury Guardians. The school’s team logos were also switched from a tomahawk, which many found offensive, to a knight’s helmet.

A committee was formed to consider changing the Tomahawks name and logo in the wake of nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. The choice was all-but solidified when the National Congress of American Indians subsequently contacted the board and asked that the tomahawk logo and mascot be phased out.

Because of COVID restrictions, school board meetings have been virtual so this was the first opportunity for in-person input by the public, and some of them were very vocal in their opposition to the name change. One of the school board members, during a break, confronted one of them when the altercation occurred.

Cellphone video recorded by bystanders at Tuesday’s session showed Finocchiaro, 53, confront the 57-year-old McFall, standing nose-to-nose with the former Marine Corps officer. When McFall gently pushed Finocchiaro away, Finocchiaro responded by punching McFall, who immediately dropped to the floor.

A news report from Fox61.

And the widely-shared video on social media.

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