Let’s be academically inclined at local schools


To the editor:

If one drives or takes the (detoured) Bx10 bus past Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, one sees large, colorful and tastefully designed banners with nicely rendered tigers’ heads and slogans like “Home of the Tigers,” “Tiger Pride,” “Tigers Together, Tigers Forever,” “Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger,” etc.

Harmless enough? I don’t think so. I think someone needs to inform the principal that she/he is the administrator of a school, not an athletic association.

To conflate the name of a school with the nickname of its sports teams diminishes and disrespects the academic, intellectual mission of a school.

I don’t think you will see any “Home of the Tigers” banners if you drive by Princeton University or “Home of the Lions” banners if you drive by Columbia University. Not only that, but such displays deflate the spirits — and the perhaps very fragile self-concepts — of the many students who are not interested in sports or not athletically inclined.

Adolescence is tough enough without your school graphically reminding you that if you are not an athlete, you don’t belong.

About a month ago, I saw a van from the Horace Mann School with the words “Fostering the Liberal Arts” inscribed.

Much better. Much more appropriate.

Edward Beller


The author is a retired high school teacher who has coached basketball and volleyball at the high school level

RKA, Riverdale/Kingsbrige Academy, Tigers, Lori O'Mara, principal, Edward Beller