NY Schools Told to Stop Using Native American Mascots – NBC New York

Schools in New York state should cease utilizing Native American references in mascots, group names and logos by the top of the present college yr or face penalties together with a lack of state support, the state Division of Training mentioned.

“Arguments that neighborhood members assist using such imagery or that it’s ‘respectful’ to Native Individuals are not tenable,” the division mentioned within the memo, issued Thursday.

“College students study as a lot by means of commentary of their environment as they do from direct instruction,” the memo added. “Boards of training that proceed to make the most of Native American mascots should mirror upon the message their decisions convey to college students, dad and mom, and their communities.”

The memo pointed to a state court docket’s June ruling in favor of the division over the Cambridge Central Faculty District north of Albany, New York, which determined to cease utilizing a Native American reference in its group identify final yr solely to reverse itself weeks later.

The state training division, which had issued a directive in 2001 for colleges to cease utilizing Native American imagery as quickly as was sensible, ordered the district to abide by its preliminary determination. The memo mentioned districts that don’t have approval from a acknowledged tribe to proceed utilizing the imagery “must immediately come into compliance.”

Cambridge Central filed a lawsuit over the order, which a court docket dismissed. The varsity district has mentioned it intends to enchantment.

Native American activists have been vocal in regards to the situation in any respect ranges of sports activities from colleges to skilled leagues for years, and have seen some groups makes adjustments whereas others have proved resistant.

The Nationwide Congress of American Indians considers the mascots to be dangerous stereotypes. It maintains a database of Okay-12 colleges that it says have Native American-themed mascots, places the quantity at simply over 1,900 colleges throughout the nation in 970 college districts, together with greater than 100 colleges in New York.

The state training division mentioned it was trying into the difficulty, and believed there have been about 50 to 60 college districts throughout New York nonetheless utilizing these type of mascots.

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