Delaware school moves toward dropping ‘Redskins’ nickname

A Delaware school district could soon drop its “Redskins” nickname, following a recommendation that was made Monday by a committee made up of alumni and community members.

Football fieldOver the last few years, dozens of districts and high schools across the nation have discontinued use of Native American nicknames considered offensive by tribes. California last fall banned all public schools from using “Redskins” as a school or athletic team name under the California Racial Mascots Act.

The Conrad Schools of Science (Delaware) has held its “Redskins” nickname since the 1930s, according to The News Journal. A group called the Retire the Mascot Committee starting collecting signatures last year to change it.

On Monday, the committee voted 9-4 to recommend the change to the full board.

From the article:

Supporters of the nickname say the Redskins name honors Native American heritage and the tradition of the school. But the name also has been seen as culturally insensitive by critics.

The committee agreed to also pass along to the school board a resolution that it will put together for an educational plan, created with input from the Nanticoke and Lenape tribes, that will maintain the school’s ties with those tribes. “I’m having trouble imagining that history … that you’re striving to maintain. I’m having trouble with that concept,” said Lenape Chief Dennis Coker, explaining that many impressions of Native American life aren’t necessarily true.

“I think we’re all speaking the same language,” said Susan Strawbridge, another alumni member of the committee.

The change must be approved by the school board, which has not yet set a date to discuss the issue.

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