LANGHORNE, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania officials have decided the fate of the Neshaminy School District’s controversial “Redskins” mascot. The state ruled on Monday that the word “Redskins” can stay but the logo of a Native American must go.
The Human Relations Commission executive director called the logo stereotypical and racial imagery that is racially polarizing.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in Harrisburg voted seven to one to allow the school district to continue using the word “Redskins,” only if it provides an educational curriculum to its students and reports its curriculum annually to the commissioners.
“I just think it’s kind of old fashion. It’s not appropriate anymore and we’re past that,” parent Ainne Melvin said.
A complaint was filed with the commission in 2013, alleging ancestry-based harassment of a student because of the use of the word “Redskin.”
The Native American sign was removed after 2016. The high school currently has no mascot.
Human Relations Commission Executive Director Chad Lassiter says Monday’s vote could set a precedent for school districts across the state.
“What’s left in this ruling is they still get to use the term ‘Redskin.’ I think this is a starting point for this school district and it could be a jumping-off starting point for other school districts as well,” Lassiter said.
David Brandon, who says he is one-sixth Native American, thinks the name, mascot and logo should all stay.
“As far as logos, there’s the Washington Redskins and things like that, it’s been there forever,” Brandon said.
“I know some people are like, ‘Oh, it’s fine, they’re over-sensitive,’ but it’s not about you so if it bothers somebody else, it’s not needed,” Melvin said.
Neshaminy School District released a statement on the ruling.
“The district’s legal counsel is reviewing the information from the Human Relations Commission that was released Monday and will advise the Neshaminy School Board regarding the matter. We have no additional comment at this time,” the statement reads.
The high school has used the word “Redskins” since 1932.