Danielle Letourneau-Therrien: Why It’s Time to Change the TFHS Mascot


The latest in the “My Turn” series of opinion columns in the Greenfield Recorder. The full piece can be read here. An excerpt is below:

There are many words I heard growing up in Turners Falls. Seen as somehow less offensive than the traditional four-letter cuss words, words to describe the intellectually or developmentally disabled, gay people, and poor people, were thrown around like confetti. These words were often tolerated by the adults around us, in the school hallways, well into the ’90s when I attended Turners Falls High School.

You remember. I am sure that many of you would be horrified if you heard your child call a friend the “f” or “r” word now. Admitting this evolution in thinking doesn’t mean I have bad feelings about growing up in Turners Falls. And it doesn’t make us weak to admit that if we used them before, we were wrong. It’s part of an emotional and cultural evolution that we don’t stand for people talking like that anymore. I remind you to illustrate how things change, people evolve and learn, and we all become more tolerant and thoughtful.

I am a proud third-generation TFHS graduate. I wore the blue and white for four varsity sports, with so much pride. I was a cheerleader, doing the tomahawk chop on that track on a Saturday morning in autumn. I was a class president, a representative in Washington, D.C., for young leaders, a student rep on the School Committee in 1991.


Published by


The world is a big place. This is how it appears to me. Your results may differ.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.