Rick Bowmer The New York Department of Education has given an ultimatum to schools in the state: get rid of your Native American team names, mascots, and logos by the end of the school year or face severe penalties, including the loss of state aid.
“Arguments that community members support the use of such imagery or that it is ‘respectful’ to Native Americans are no longer tenable,” the department said in the memo, issued Thursday.
Why not? Who says it’s not “tenable”? And why dismiss the usual overwhelming community support for a Native American mascot so cavalierly?
“Students learn as much through observation of their surroundings as they do from direct instruction,” the memo added. “Boards of education that continue to utilize Native American mascots must reflect upon the message their choices convey to students, parents, and their communities.”
And the board of education might reflect on the lessons in democracy it’s teaching kids.
ABCNews: The memo pointed to a state court’s June ruling in favor of the department over the Cambridge Central School District north of Albany, New York, which decided to stop using a Native American reference in its team name last year only to reverse itself weeks later. The state education department, which had issued a directive in 2001 for schools to stop using Native American imagery as soon as was practical, ordered the district to abide by its initial decision. The memo said districts that don’t have approval from a recognized tribe to continue using the imagery “must immediately come into compliance.” The reason the school had to reverse its decision to get rid of the Native American mascot was the intense uproar in the community. New York schools that use some kind of Native American imagery will find similar levels of opposition when trying to change a beloved […]
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