PAW PAW, Mich. — Paw Paw High School will place a time capsule commemorating the historic events of the past school year and honor the Class of 2020 at a “Gathering of the Grads” event Friday.
Among other events, the school announced plans to retire its Redskins mascot.
Paw Paw Superintendent Rick Reo previously said the mascot is an obstacle to welcoming all students, and the American Civil Liberties Union last year asked the U.S. Education Department to investigate a “racially hostile environment” for Native American students at Paw Paw's high school.
The time capsule is the school’s way of changing the mascot while still honoring its history, according to a news release. Redskin memorabilia will be included.
It will also include items representing other major events from the year, including a COVID mask, prom tickets, a graduation program and letters from graduates.
“The time capsule is a really exciting way to remember all that's happened this year," Senior Class President Cassidy Medema said. "I'm really proud to be part of a class that pushed through so many challenges, from the encephalitis outbreak that cancelled Homecoming, to changing the school’s mascot, and the COVID-19 pandemic that prevented many senior traditions. "
The event, which will only be open to members of the graduating class and select faculty because of the ongoing pandemic, will also include traditional graduation ceremony elements, like the turning of the tassel and a cap toss.
The school says it will be recorded and posted online.