Board members, community debate changing Ketcham High School ‘Indians’ mascot

Board members of the Wappingers Central School District held a meeting Monday night to discuss changing the Ketcham High School mascot, the Indians.

News 12 Staff

Jul 21, 2020, 6:33 PM

Updated 1,407 days ago


Dozens of alumni submitted comments in support of changing the school's mascot. Many board members agreed and said more research needs to be done on the issue.
"I don’t think human beings are mascots, I think it needs to be changed,” says board member Linda Rappaport. “I think times have changed."
Ketcham alumni started two petitions that have garnered nearly 7,000 signatures combined.
However, some community members and at least one board member say they would like to keep the mascot. They say it honors the Wappinger Native American tribe that once inhabited the area.
Board president John Lumia believes the mascot isn’t a negative feature, saying in part, "I think the mascot is a praise and not a negative.”
The board says it will seek input from the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe, who are descendants of the Wappinger native people he mentioned.
News 12 is told a spokesperson for the tribe says they’d like to mascot to be removed. The representative also mentioned a resolution passed by the tribe that states their opposition to the use of Indian logos and mascots by schools and sports teams - calling them offensive and derogatory.
The issue is expected to be discussed again at the next school board meeting in August.

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