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Red Jacket seeks community feedback for nickname change later this year

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Red Jacket school district, the last in its area to have a Native American-related nickname, is calling for public input through an online survey as part of its compliance with a state mandate. Known as the Red Jacket Indians, the district is moving towards selecting a new symbol or image that better aligns with current guidelines, avoiding the use of Native American monikers and symbols. The community survey is available on the district’s website and is open for responses until March 1.

The survey aims to gather community sentiment and suggestions for a new identity, including questions about personal connections to the district and ideas for a new symbol or image. This initiative follows a series of town hall meetings and the formation of a rebrand advisory committee to guide the district through the renaming process, emphasizing the importance of community involvement in shaping the school’s new identity.

Facing a deadline by the end of the 2024-25 school year, Red Jacket is among several districts statewide responding to the New York State Education Department’s directive to change Native American-related school nicknames or risk losing state aid. This follows successful rebrands in nearby districts, marking a significant shift towards more culturally sensitive school identities.