Ideas sought for next school district mascot



This past May, the North Haven Board of Education voted to retire the school district’s Native American mascot.

And in July, the board agreed to do away with the “Indians” nickname as well.

School officials may have felt compelled to make the changes after Connecticut lawmakers included in the latest state budget a provision that would withhold aid from tribal gaming revenues from municipalities where a school uses a mascot, name or image associated with Native American tribes.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes said they oppose “the use of any and all Native American-related nicknames, mascots, and imagery,” with few exceptions, because they “promote stereotypes” and cause harm.

With the “Indian” name and caricature now gone from North Haven schools, a campaign is underway to choose a new mascot to represent the district.

The North Haven Mascot Committee is accepting idea submissions Nov. 8 to 12. Submission forms are available at the Senior Center, Town Hall and library. For a link to the submission form, email mascot@northhavenschools.org.

North Haven students will have the opportunity to submit suggestions in school.

A press release announcing the mascot campaign states, “The NHMC was formed as part of an initiative of the North Haven Board of Education with the goal of establishing a fair and fun process for selecting a new mascot to represent a unified school district. It is comprised of board members, students, teachers, administrators, parents, booster club members, North Haven residents, and representatives from the Native and Indigenous community of North Haven.” 

The guidelines established by the committee are as follows:

Be sure your mascot idea connects to North Haven in some way; Choose a mascot that is fun and exciting; Think of a mascot that is unique to North Haven; Be sure your mascot idea stands for something special to North Haven; Make sure your mascot idea is something everyone can be proud of.

Citizen report

 



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