The New York Board of Regents has officially banned all school mascot names and images related to indigenous people. The decision comes after the State Education Department encouraged school boards statewide to initiate the process of changing their team mascots’ names and images back in November.
Many school districts around the state have already complied by removing names and images associated with indigenous people, while others awaited the final verdict. On Tuesday morning, the board voted unanimously in favor of the ban, without any further discussion.
Local school districts such as Avon and Canandaigua have been using the name “Braves,” while Letchworth and Red Jacket are known as the “Indians.” Despite the 2001 order from the State Education Commissioner to eliminate these names and images, dozens of schools maintained their original indigenous mascots and names until 2021. Many of these schools argued that their use of these names and images was a sign of respect for indigenous people.
Efforts have been made to contact the affected schools for their comments on potential name changes. The Canandaigua City School District has already outlined the steps they are taking in response to the ban.
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