Around New England

Hundreds Leap To Defense of King Philip ‘Warriors’

August 1, 2020

Several hundred graduates of King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham have reacted against changing the school’s nickname from Warriors.

A school committee agenda item caught the eye of an alumna, who posted a poll on a Facebook page of King Philip alumni on Thursday, July 30.

As of 11 a.m. Saturday, August 1, the poll had gotten 655 responses calling to keep the nickname.

The school committee chairman told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro the agenda item was meant to apprise school committee members of proposed legislation in the Massachusetts Legislature that would ban American Indian nicknames and mascots for public schools in the state. He said the agenda item was not intended to lead to a unilateral change at the local level, according to The Sun Chronicle.

King Philip Regional High School, which serves Wrentham, Norfolk, and Plainville, opened in 1957. The name of the school honors a Wampanoag chief called Metacomet by his people but known as King Philip to English settlers in the area.

This chief led Wampanoags and other American Indians in the area in King Philip’s War, a bloody conflict against English settlers that lasted from June 1675 to shortly after his death in battle in August 1676.

While the 17th century English hated King Philip – his head was stuck on a pike and displayed in Plymouth for two decades – he has drawn respect and honor in New England since at least the mid-19th century.

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