State legislature to discuss Native American mascots ban

Franklin county voters upheld the use of the Indian Mascot at Turners Falls high school

BOSTON (WWLP/AP) – The state legislature is about to tackle the sensitive issue of banning Native American mascots at Massachusetts public schools.

The bill defines a Native American mascot as a “name, symbol, or image that depicts or refers to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom, or tradition that is used by a public school as a mascot, nickname, logo, letterhead, or team name.”

Franklin County voters upheld the use of the Indian Mascot at Turners Falls High School.

The Gill-Montague school board had earlier done away with the Indian mascot. Voters there re-affirmed the mascot with a provision that its use “be more consistent with indigenous cultures in our region”.

Tuesday morning at the Statehouse, the legislature’s education committee will begin taking testimony on the bill, which would ban the use of any Native American mascot by a public school in the state. The bill gives specific examples, including “Indians,” ”Indianettes,” ”Chieftains” and “Braves.”

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