The use of Native American mascots, team names, or emblems is forbidden across the state of New York. And now, the education department of the state is asking its schools to comply by the end of the school year – or else they face losing state funds.
The ban is not a recent development: More than twenty years ago, the practice was put a stop to by a memorandum that was issued by the state’s previous education commissioner. And although though some school districts got rid of their mascots practically as soon as they were banned, others aren’t in compliance even to this day. On Thursday, the senior deputy commissioner of the education department in the state delivered a message to all of the school districts in the state, requesting that all of the school districts take action by the conclusion of the 2022-2023 school year.
Baldwin cautioned in the letter that the consequences for breaching the act might result in the loss of state funds as well as the removal of school administrators from their posts.
In the event that a school district does not get rid of its Native American mascot, the Department of Education will decide that the district is in violation of The Dignity for All Students Act. Earlier than ten years ago, state lawmakers approved the bill in order to ensure that “all students in New York public schools have access to an environment free of discrimination and harassment.”
According to the Times Union, there are still around sixty school districts in the state that employ a Native American mascot or emblem. According to the National Congress of American Indians, there are still close to 2,000 school districts across the United States that use Native American characters as their school mascots.