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Old 06-24-2020, 06:03 AM
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Default Two New Jersey high schools remove Indians, Cowboys mascots


Two New Jersey high schools remove Indians, Cowboys mascots
By Elizabeth Rosner
June 24, 2020 | 12:30am

A protest against the removal of the Cowboy as the Pascack Hills High School mascot. Stephen Schmidt/Pascack Hills Trailblazer

The sports teams at two New Jersey high schools in Bergen County will no longer be named the Indians and Cowboys.

At their two-hour virtual meeting on Monday night, the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education voted unanimously to remove the nickname of Pascack Hills, the Cowboy, and the mascot of Pascack Valley, the Indian, reported Pascack Hills Trailblazer.

“Indian mascots are dehumanizing and cause psychological damage to natives,” a former Pascack Valley teacher said during the meeting.

“Personal feelings of nostalgia do not absolve us from our responsibility to stand up for a marginalized group.”

(((Charleen Schwartzman))), a Pascack Hills assistant principal said, “The cowboy is in no way free of bias as it excludes women and people of color.”

“Let’s choose a mascot that we can all be proud of,” she continued.

Immediately after the announcement was made, a counter-petition to keep the Cowboys and Indians names earned more than 700 signatures.

On Tuesday afternoon a protest erupted in the parking lot at Pascack Hills, where students and community members voiced their opposition of the removal of the Cowboy mascot.

In a video, protesters confronted the incoming principle and assistant principle over their dismay that “Cowboys” will be removed from the athletic field, a man yelled, “Who is going to pay to rip up the endzone?”

Others shouted, “This is what the majority looks like!” and “It makes no sense what you’re doing.”

A photo was tweeted of group of students —without face masks — holding signs that read “Defund the BOE” and “Trump Make Hills Great Again.”

The district plans to assign new names at a later date in a “thoughtful and expeditious manner.”
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