In 2014, Wells school officials finally decided to do the right thing: Ellen Schneider, then the superintendent of schools, announced that the “Indian head” – essentially a caricature of what a Native American man looks like – would be phased out and replaced by something more appropriate. I was pleased by her decision. Better late than never.

When I visited Wells High School’s brand-new building in 2016, however, I was surprised and disappointed to see that this caricature adorned many areas of the new building.

Now it is being reported that spectators at WHS football games are engaging in the same kind of mockery that they – we – engaged in when I was a student there 20 years ago. I remember all too vividly the whooping, the tomahawk-chopping, the red face paint and feathers.

Some people, including several in the current school administration, say that’s not true and that the Lisbon mother and son, both Native American, simply imagined the whole thing and are trying to pick a fight.

Perhaps it is such a common occurrence that current Superintendent James P. Daly and others have become desensitized to it and can no longer recall seeing it. Nevertheless, it is problematic. And it has been problematic for decades.

The former superintendent understood that when she announced that the Indian head would be phased out.

Why was her correct, courageous and thoroughly appropriate decision reversed?

It is long past time for her 2014 promise to be fulfilled.

We will always be Warriors. We will always bleed red, white and black. But the Indian head, and the behavior it incites, must be relegated to the history books.

Mr. Daly, tear down that caricature.

Adrian Dowling

South Portland