One school district in Western New York is taking matters into it’s own hands in the nationwide, raging debate over offensive mascot names and likenesses.
The Lancaster Board of Education passed a unanimous vote Monday night, to cease the school’s more than 60 year old affiliation with the term “Redskins”, after it was found to be offensive to Native Americans. A search for a new school mascot will begin immediately.
“This is about the children, and teaching them to respect and embrace all people,” Board of Education Member Kim Nowak said.
As expected, the ruling was met with anger from people who’d proudly referred to themselves as ‘Redskins’ after graduating from Lancaster High School over the course of time. Many people can’t seem to understand why, even though THEY personally don’t attach negativity to the term; there are groups of people around this world who have unfortunately been the subject of racism and mistreatment associated with the use of the word ‘Redskin’.
Hopefully smaller-scale, separate school board decisions such as this one in New York State will lead to officials across the country taking a second look at their principles and practices, no matter how age old they may be. This is an extremely sensitive time in America, and it’s more important than ever to make sure ALL voices are heard. Not only the ones perceived as important.
Kudos to the Lancaster School Board for recognizing this.