New York school drops ‘Redskins’ team name

Washington Redskins (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post Two Washington Redskins                                  (Jonathan Newton — The Washington Post)

A New York school is dropping the name that its sports teams have been called for nearly a century, the Redskins, despite some opposition in the community.

The Daily Star of Oneonta reported middle and high school students in the Cooperstown School District — which has only one middle/high school — voted on a new name though the final decision will be made by the Board of Education. Among the names on the ballot were Coyotes and Deerslayers. Redskins was not one of them, though the name did get some write-in votes, the paper said.

The story said that it was students who brought up the issue to district officials.

“I find the name offensive,” Cooperstown junior Catherine Borgstrom was quoted by The Daily Star as saying. “It is not okay with me to be called the Redskins.”

A school board meeting last week was somewhat contentious, with people on both sides of the name change speaking up.

The naming issue resonates in Washington D.C., where the Redskins football team has come under pressure to change its name. My colleague Sally Jenkins wrote about it here.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · February 15, 2013

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