NPR: Connecticut School Board Reinstates Mascot Native Americans Called Demeaning

NPR, February 10, 2020: Connecticut school board reinstates mascot Native Americans called demeaning

The high school sports teams in Killingly, Conn., are the Redmen again.

That name – and “Redgals,” the nickname for the school’s girls’ teams — was replaced last year at the urging of students and local Native Americans.

But now, at a time when many American schools are moving away from Native American mascots, Killingly is choosing a different direction.

“I’m even, like, embarrassed that I have Redmen on my gym floor right now,” said sophomore Jessica Long, referencing a big school decal stuck to the hardwood of Killingly High School. “It’s embarrassing to be connected to a school that, even though they did the right thing before, they went back to the wrong thing.”

“The Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council has very publicly decried the use of Native American mascots, even when the organization using said mascots believes that they are in some way flattering or used as a means of honoring Native Americans,” wrote Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council Chairman Kenneth Gould Sr. in a letter to the [school] board.

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