ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Mohonasen Board of Education spoke about the New York State Education Department’s decision to have schools across New York remove Native American mascots, logos and team names.
At Monday night’s meeting, the board reiterated their stance that they have not made any decisions about the future of the school’s name and logo. They said they are waiting for more guidance from the state education department before they make a decision.
“We would have preferred if the state education department had reached out to engage us in a discussion with both us and other schools like ours rather than starting off with a blatant threat to our school funding and our school district officers, meaning Superintendent Shine and likely the board of education members,” Board Pres. Wade Abbott said.
Parents within the Mohonasen school district also spoke out about the education department’s directive.
“I see the definition of a ‘warrior’ according to the ones I read every day in the student population here. I see a lot of student athletes, students in the building, teachers, community members fulfilling that definition of a warrior. The best way, I believe, to pay homage and respect to this school name and to the nations that make up the school name and the embodiment of the warrior is to continue what we have been doing in this district.”
NYSED is requiring the change by the end of the 2022-23 school year. Schools that do not comply risk having school officers removed and state aid withheld. If schools want to keep their mascots, they must have expressed approval from a recognized Native American tribe.