Some Easton Region School Board members are not crazy about the use of the school district logo by political candidates or companies looking to make money from it.
But if they need to change the logo to protect it, they’d rather leave it open to the public.
Board members discussed the possibility of protecting the logo’s copyright at the last board meeting on September 14. You can watch the meeting on the school district Youtube channel.
School board vice president Edward Keegan said he was surprised to learn that the logo was unprotected and asked the school district lawyer to potentially protect it.
The capital E logo with a Red Rover Bulldog was first used in 1955 by the Varsity E, the school district’s sports recall club. E University member Jay Golden was on the committee that created the logo, which was first used to sell stickers to raise funds for district athletics.
For 66 years, the logo has been available to anyone who wants to use it for free.
Since it has been in the public domain for so long, Easton Area School District attorney John E. Freund III recommended modifying it slightly to make it the district’s own.
This suggestion met stiff resistance on Thursday.
âYou can change it as much as you want, but I have news for you. Your alumni will not accept this, âsaid Kerry Myers, president of Varsity E.
âThis is really nonsense,â Golden said.
A consensus of school board members said Thursday there was no way to change the logo, even a little.
“I have no interest in changing the EASD logo,” said Meg Sayago, board member.
âI am not interested in changing the logo. I am interested in protecting the logo, âKeegan said.
“We are not looking to make any changes to the EASD logo,” said Susan Hartranft-Bittinger, board member.
Hartranft-Bittinger said she was not crazy about the use of the logo by political candidates. A group of three school board candidates were selling T-shirts with Easton’s logo on them. Hartranft-Bittinger said the logo on the shirt gives the impression that the applicants have the backing of the Easton area school district institution.
Candidate for the editorial board of the school board Gene Parziale said he and his fellow candidates Tanya keller and Megan McPeek researched the use of the logo before starting to sell the shirts earlier this month. District policy states that the logo is available free of charge as long as it is not used to disparage the district.
Parziale said Keegan asked them to stop selling the shirts, so he stopped.
He spoke during the logo discussion at the school board meeting on Tuesday.
âIt’s quite shocking that this is the most discussed topic today. With everything going on, are you worried about a logo? Parziale asked.
Myers said political candidates have used the logo in their campaign materials for decades. He used it when he went to the school board.
âIt was designed to be used by everyone in the community because it is part of the community,â Myers said.
Keegan said at the school board meeting that he wanted the logo-generated income to stay with the children in the school district. The school district does not earn any income from shirts sold in local supermarkets and pharmacies with the Easton logo.
Freund said the board can still seek copyright in the logo, but most board members seemed willing to put the logo issue aside on Thursday.
âUse of the logo will remain with the community and EASD will continue to rely on the best judgment of community members as to its use,â said Sayago.
âAt this point, claiming to limit one’s intellectual property value would seem mean and brooding. If the use of the logo becomes abusiveâ¦ then maybe we can have that discussion, âsaid Brian Snyder, Board Member.
âThe Easton logo is one of the coolest logos out there and should never be altered,â Keegan said. âIn my humble opinion, he should be protected as much as the law allows. However, as I discovered last Tuesday, this is not the EASD call to do.
Myers said the logo transcends a political campaign or a business venture. It’s part of Easton itself.
World heavyweight champion Larry Holmes said he added the logo to his shorts after winning his first title. His nickname is Easton Assassin and he has the logo to back it up.
The Easton community is steeped in tradition and the logo is part of that tradition, Myers said.
Golden said he had just had 100 pins with the logo made.
âWhen I meet someone out of state who went to Easton Area High School, I give them one,â he said.
Candidates for the Easton Region School Board:
- Region 1: Brian Snyder is on both ballots. He is the only candidate on the ballot.
- Region 2: Susan Hartranft-Bittinger and Dionne Wellington are on the Democratic ballot. Tanya Keller is on the Republican ballot. Voters will choose two of the three.
- Region 3: Meg Sayago and Nekisha Robertson are on both ballots. There are two places to be won. Gene Parziale and Megan McPeek are running as writing candidates in Region 3.
Region I includes Palmer Township and a small portion of Easton. Region II includes most of Easton. Region III includes Forks Township, Martins Creek Section of Lower Mount Bethel Township and part of Easton.
Election day is November 2.
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Rudy Miller can be reached at [email protected].