New York Votes To Ban Schools From Having Native American Mascots

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The New York Board of Regents voted on Tuesday to bar school districts from having Native American mascots, ABC News 10 reported.

The vote prevents school districts from using words or images affiliated with Native American heritage and applies to mascots, paperwork, jerseys and buildings, according to ABC News 10. It officially ratifies a policy issued by the State Education Department in November 2022, and districts will have until June 30, 2025 to comply, The New York Times reported(RELATED: Michigan Schools Getting Paid To Change Their ‘Racist’ Mascots)

Schools will be permitted to keep their mascots if they can get approval from native tribes approving its use, according to the NYT. Several tribes, including the Oneida Nation, said they will not approve any such requests.

Some districts are opposed to changing their mascot, the NYT reported. The Salamanca School District sent a survey to students that revealed the majority want to keep their “Warrior” name, while some Native American students and parents view changing the mascot as another attempt at eliminating their heritage.

“They clearly articulated at one point that, ‘We’ve been pushed off our land, our history has been changed, and now we’re faced with having even symbols and identity pushed out of the school that we send our children to,'” Mark Beehler, district superintendent, told the NYT. “This could very well be one of those baby-with-the-bath-water-type circumstances.”

There have been approximately 40 schools that have reached out to the Education Department for guidance on updating its affiliations, James Baldwin, New York senior deputy commissioner for education policy, told the NYT. The department’s response to schools that are unwilling to change their mascot is “that Indigenous people have been disrespected by the use of these mascots for literally a few hundred years.”

“There is no place for that kind of that level of disrespect in our public schools,” Baldwin said.

The Board of Regents, the Education Department, the Salamanca School District and Oneida Nation did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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