State Court orders Cambridge Indian mascot retired
CAMBRIDGE – The state’s second-highest court ruled unanimously on Thursday to affirm a lower court decision over the Cambridge Central School District and its mascot, the Indians. That means the decision to remove the school’s longtime nickname and mascot stands.
The 5-0 ruling by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court’s 3rd Department essentially ends the district’s legal battle to keep their mascot, a battle that has lasted for more than two years.
State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa ordered Cambridge to stop using the Indians nickname in 2021. At the time, some members of the school board called the directive “arbitrary and capricious.”
Many in the community wanted to celebrate the mascot and the school’s proud history. Others believe the Indian mascot and logo are insensitive or offensive to Native Americans.
“The courts did get it right,” said Interim School Superintendent Kenneth Facin. “Regardless of the outcome, we have to change our mascot, as all schools across New York state have to if they have indigenous mascots or anything of the such.”
The school board, in collaboration with students, are currently surveying the entire student body to come up with ideas for a new mascot.
The school board plans to take action on a new mascot in January.