New York

New York orders schools to commit to changing Native American team names by end of 2022 or risk losing state aid

NEW YORK — An Upstate New York public faculty district that sought to hold its “Indians” team identify, emblem and mascot has lost a court docket problem. 

The state’s training division is now mandating all public schools to cease utilizing any Native American imagery, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday. 

There are an estimated 60 faculty districts in New York that also use a Native American mascot or emblem.

On Long Island, Sewanhaka, Manhasset, Syosset, Massapequa, Brentwood and East Islip are figuring out their subsequent strikes. 

A court docket has dominated public schools are prohibited from utilizing Native American mascots, a violation of the Dignity Act. 

“No longer will Native American children be subjected to mockery of their heritage by the misappropriation of their culture while participating in sports and engaging in their day to day learning environment,” mentioned an legal professional for the Shinnecock Nation. 

“If that’s how they feel, then than should not be allowed,” a mum or dad mentioned. 

“I think Native Americans should be respected, but I don’t think that’s the most important thing that New York state should be doing right now,” a pupil mentioned. 

If a district does not commit by the end of the year to changing its Native American team identify, penalties embody withholding state aid. 

“It seems an easy enough thing to do, to change the names,” one other particular person mentioned. 

In skilled sports activities, the Cleveland Indians turned the Cleveland Guardians and the Washington Redskins turned the Washington Commanders. 

On Long Island, “We were the Shelter Island Indians and now we are the Islanders, ” mentioned Kathleen Lynch, a Shelter Island trustee.

Lynch mentioned Shelter Island allowed all voices to be heard. What started divisively, ended unanimously. The college students led the way in which for change. 

“I hope the state offers some grace to schools that can’t immediately replace everything. It’s an unforeseen expense. The budget is already done for the year,” mentioned Lynch. 

Students and oldsters instructed CBS2 they acknowledge changing historical past can be robust. 

“The Chiefs, it’s been that way for a while and it should stay that way,” one pupil mentioned. 

“I don’t see an issue with it. I think they should just leave it alone,” one lady mentioned. 

“It’s a community that’s proud of Native Americans,” one other lady mentioned. 

Native American leaders mentioned it is an academic second larger that only a identify change.

New York schools had been first suggested to “end the use of Native American mascots as soon as possible,” 21 years in the past. The problem solely just lately went to court docket. 

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