Board of Regents votes to ban Native American names, mascots, logos in NY public schools
The state Board of Regents voted unanimously on a final version of their mascot rules on Tuesday, deciding that any public school with a Native American mascot must commit in writing by the end of this year to change it.
Districts across the state have until June 2025 to make the changes. Schools that don't comply may not receive state aid.
The board reviewed several comments from people saying Native American mascots have special meaning in their communities. The state Education Department says no commenters submitted any proof that there was an intent to honor Native Americans when those mascots were chosen.
News 12’s Ben Nandy was in Mahopac, current home of the Indians, where students gave their opinions about the decision. They will have a choice between three new mascots in a vote on May 16.
A Mahopac administrator asked whether they can keep a feather or arrowhead in their logos. NYSED officials say they probably won't allow that – especially in districts with a history of using stereotypical names and imagery.