Dec. 12: Superintendent Update
Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty, and Staff,
While we have still not heard back from the NYS Education Department (SED) regarding Native American district mascots, team names, and logos, a Times Union article just came out online indicating the Board of Regents (BOR) has been talking about Mohonasen specifically, as well as other potentially affected districts. You may access the article here.
The article reports a few specific items regarding Mohonasen, our logos, and our athletic designation as the Warriors. However, at this point we are still waiting for official notification from SED to verify the assertions made in this article, and then we will discuss what this may mean for us going forward.
The article notes, “The state Education Department is convening an advisory council that will include indigenous people. Their first meeting is next month, and state officials plan to ask them what they think of nicknames like the Warriors.” We look forward to hearing what the indigenous people on the council have to say.
The article further indicates that a related BOR regulation was issued which will then have a 60 day public comment period before they will vote on it. I am unclear if there is a larger proposed regulation document or whether the following is the proposed regulation in its entirety.
“Proposed Addition of Part 123 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Prohibiting the Use of Indigenous Names, Mascots, and Logos by Public Schools – Department staff will present proposed amendments to the Commissioner’s regulations relating to prohibiting the use of Indigenous names, logos, and mascots to represent public schools, including school sports teams. The proposed rule does not apply to public schools and school buildings named after an Indigenous tribe.”
As more details come out, such as the still anticipated clarification document from SED, I will provide additional updates.
Yours in Service,
Shannon Shine, Superintendent