SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Respect was the topic of an assembly Monday at the Pemetic Elementary School that included a student-produced video and the renaming of the school’s sports teams.
The school’s sports teams have been known as the Pemetic Indians. The name was dropped after the moniker was deemed inappropriate and has not been used for years.
School officials decided recently to have students and faculty vote by secret ballot on a new name. The Pemetic Peregrines was chosen from a list of four. The others were the Navigators, Islanders and Bears.
According to Principal Rhonda Fortin, eighth-grade students Olivia Gray and Wilder Noyes first approached her about adopting a name for the sports teams.
“They were feeling the students didn’t have an identity,” she said.
The Indians name had not been used for so long that Gray and Noyes had no idea that the school once had a mascot, she said.
From there, the whole school became involved, with the proposal gaining the approval of the school committee and administration. A lengthy list of possible names was pared down to the four.
The respect shown toward Native Americans by dropping the Indians name in favor of something more appropriate carried through to the eighth grade’s campaign to instill respect in the school.
Bad behavior on the part of some eighth-graders spurred the class to open the discussion of being respectful. After the students acted inappropriately toward a substitute teacher, the regular teacher lectured them on respecting others, Fortin said.
The students responded by sharing what they learned with others in the school and creating a video, “Respect at Pemetic School.”
The video was shown Monday at the assembly. It contrasted examples of inappropriate behavior with appropriate behavior which were followed by students telling in their own words what respect means to them.