BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — A letter from the Brighton Central School District Superintendent says that the district will no longer be using The Baron as the mascot.

In the statement on the school’s website, Superintendent Kevin McGowan explains the changes that will be put into place to take significant steps forward toward diversity, equity and inclusion.

One of the changes includes replacing the former mascot ‘The Baron’ with a new symbol. McGowan says the old mascot is a symbol of elitism and privilege at best and can be historically traced to slavery.

The statement reads:

“Simply put, systemized oppression, racial injustice, and institutionalized racism, among other factors, have resulted in a society where the lives of our African American friends, neighbors, and community members have not mattered. Those of us protected and promoted through our own innate privilege receive constant reinforcement that our lives matter. This is an important acknowledgement and a call for us to embrace the importance and significance of black lives, but it is again just words. 

Over the coming year, we will be taking significant steps forward in our diversity, equity, and inclusion work. However, we believe that our actions need to progress faster and with a sense of urgency reflective of this important moment in the fight for true equality and inclusion.”

You can read the full statement here.