Student Well-Being

Calif. Senate Votes to Ban ‘Redskins’ Mascots From Public Schools

By Bryan Toporek — September 10, 2015 1 min read
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California took another step this week toward prohibiting public schools from using the term “Redskins” as a team name, mascot, or nickname, as the state Senate voted 25-10 Tuesday on legislation that would take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

The bill acknowledges “many individuals and organizations interested and experienced in human relations, including the United States Commission on Civil Rights, have concluded that the use of Native American images and names in school sports is a barrier to equality and understanding, and that all residents of the United States would benefit from the discontinuance of their use.” In addition, the bill says “no individual or school has a cognizable interest in retaining a racially derogatory or discriminatory school or athletic team name, mascot, or nickname.”

Accordingly, if the bill passes, no public school in the state can use the term “Redskins” beginning Jan. 1, 2017, except in limited circumstances. Schools may continue wearing uniforms with the term after that point if they have selected a new mascot, but must refrain from purchasing more uniforms with the term unless they’re bought explicitly to be replacements for lost or damaged uniforms. They must also refrain from distributing other materials or constructing new signs with that name.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.