New York officially bans native-themed school mascots
New York state's Board of Regents has officially banned all forms of indigenous-themed school mascots. The unanimous vote Tuesday culminates two decades of state policy moving towards the change. The ban takes effect May 3.
The state Board of Education released the directive last November. But in 2001, a former state education commissioner called native mascots “a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community" and recommended schools change them.
Under the new policy, dozens of districts that have resisted efforts to do away with the mascots, which include names like 'Indians', 'braves', and 'warriors', will have until the end of the 2025 school year to finalize the changes.
The state said it expects some schools to sue to keep their mascots.
There are exceptions for recognized tribal teams and schools that have a standing agreement with recognized tribes.
The National Council of American Indians, which has pushed for bans for decades, said it's aware of seven other state bans, with others under deliberation.