D.C. high school students to debate Redskins name

October 11, 2013

Controversy over the name of Washington’s professional football team has reached the hallways of the District’s Wilson High, where a student told Principal Pete Cahall that she found her classmates’ Redskins clothing offensive.

Cahall said he’d ask the student government to consider whether Redskins gear should be allowed in school.

“I’m going to bring to them a concern of a student they represent, and let them debate and discuss and come up with a proposal — or not,” Cahall said. “I’ve got no dog in the fight. If nothing else, it’s a learning opportunity.”

Native American leaders have been pressing for a name-change for years, arguing that the team’s nickname is disparaging and racist. Their campaign won renewed attention recently thanks to a comment President Obama made in an interview with the Associated Press.

“If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history — that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” Obama said.

The team has said it won’t change the name.

Emma Brown writes about D.C. education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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