DOE: State panel to decide if schools will be allowed to keep mascot names on district-by-district basis
The state Department of Education (DOE) says no decision has been made yet on which schools will be allowed to keep their mascot name.
A state panel will decide each case on a district-by-district basis in about three weeks.
The newly approved ban is part of the state's effort to stop schools from using mascots and team names that reference indigenous groups.
The DOE says schools and districts with team names, mascots or affiliated imagery with connections to or based upon Indigenous Nations or peoples would need to change. The mascot regulation does not pertain to schools and districts with team names, mascots or affiliated imagery that is not based upon Indigenous Nations or peoples.
Some in the Wantagh Union Free School District are hopeful that the DOE will let them to keep their nickname, the Warriors, but possibly do away with any Native American imagery.
"The warrior term, name, I think is very subjective and they should leave it," says John Koziarz, former Wantagh resident. "I think the Wantagh Warriors goes well."
The ban on Native American mascots could affect at least 11 Long Island school districts.
The Massapequa School Board is vowing to fight back so they can keep their nickname, the Chiefs.
"There's too much history in this town," says Joe Andrews, of Massapequa. "People respect the town and it should remain as is."