The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Sidwell Friends School bans clothing bearing Washington Redskins name and logo

Sidwell Friends School in Washington. (Mary F. Calvert/For The Washington Post)

Washington’s elite Sidwell Friends School has banned clothing featuring the name and logo of the Washington Redskins football team, school officials said Friday.

Ellis Turner, an associate head of school at Sidwell, a private school founded on Quaker principles, said that the ban was conceived as part of a student-led revision of the school’s dress code this year.

“This spring, students proposed to make the wearing of clothing with the name and logo of the Washington National Football League team a violation of the school’s dress code,” Turner told The Washington Post. “The school administration accepted the proposal in a show of support for student voice and unity on the issue.”

Dictionary entries for “Redskin” generally define the word as a derogatory term for Native Americans. President Obama, whose eldest daughter, Malia, graduated from Sidwell this month, is one of a number of high-profile politicians and sports celebrities who have called on franchise owner Dan Snyder to reconsider the team’s moniker.

At Malia Obama’s high school graduation, the commander in chief is ‘just a total dad’

But a decades-long effort by activists urging the football team to change its name has proven fruitless. A recent poll by The Washington Post found that 9 out of 10 Native Americans do not find the word to be offensive.

New poll finds 9 in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name

Turner said that the ban on Redskins apparel at Sidwell will begin in the fall. Turner said the dress code policy change is a recent example of action that germinated from “the expression of student opinions and concerns to the school administration.”

Turner noted that the students said it was a moral decision to change the dress code and that they “expressed concerns that the wearing of the name and logo was inconsistent with the values and beliefs of the Religious Society of Friends.”