BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts lawmakers are working to remove Native American mascots from schools across the state.
In an effort to make Massachusetts schools more ‘culturally appropriate,’ several western Massachusetts lawmakers are teaming up to remove mascots that some could find offensive.
The Joint Committee on Education heard testimony from Northampton State Senator Jo Comerford, who advocated for a slow but deliberate removal process for all native American school mascots.
As sponsors of the bill, Senator Comerford and several other western Massachusetts legislators vowed to bring more cultural sensitivity to the state’s school system.
“I believe that a lot of the symbols really are degrading and they’re based in stereotypes and we can do better as a Commonwealth, and I’m looking forward to more robust debate around what that would mean,” Rep. Domb, one of the bill’s co-sponsors said.
The proposal would establish a commission to look into the Native American mascots and school symbols. They would then outline clear guidelines on what is considered culturally appropriate and what isn’t.
Right now 38 schools across the Commonwealth still have Native American mascots. Turners Falls High School and the Mowhawk Regional School District have decided to remove theirs.
This session the legislature will also consider whether to remove the Native American symbol from the state flag.