NYSED asks all school districts to drop Native American mascots

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The New York State Education Department issued guidance Thursday evening, asking all school districts to retire Native American mascots.

The guidance names the Cambridge Central School District, who voted to retire their Indians team name logo and mascot last year, but since reversed that decision.

“School districts that continue to utilize Native American team names, logos, and/or imagery without current approval from a recognized tribe must immediately come into compliance,” said NYSED in a statement.

NYSED says districts that don’t get rid of their Native American mascots by the end of this school year could lose school officers and state aid.

“Schools are learning environments; students learn as much through observation of their surroundings as they do from direct instruction. In addition to their legal obligations, boards of education that continue to utilize Native American mascots must reflect upon the message their choices convey to students, parents, and their communities,” NYSED added.