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New York Board of Regents bans school mascots with indigenous people

Apr 19, 2023 12:41 am

Kathleen Moore reports for the Times Union that the New York Board of Regents voted unanimously on April 18 to ban mascots that use names and images of indigenous people at schools in the state. The Education Department convened an advisory group of indigenous people to decide if schools could keep nicknames such as Raiders or Warriors while removing images of indigenous people. But those proposals were rejected, with advisory group members calling such changes an “evasion.” But the Education Department is allowing school districts to keep their mascots or nicknames if they get the approval of the specific indigenous group. The Oneida Indian Nation released a statement saying it would not approve any requests from a school district to keep a mascot that refers to their people, and other nations have released similar statements. “This issue is about how New York state views its responsibilities to an increasingly diverse population,” said nation representative Ray Halbritter. “The state’s directive promotes inclusivity and mutual respect, and is the best way to unify our communities moving forward.” Education Department officials say they expect at least a few school districts will sue to keep their nicknames. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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