A Redskins ad hoc committee was formed by the Cooperstown Board of Education in response to the letter. A public meeting was held to gather public opinion about the continued use of the Redskins image, nickname and mascot. Roughly 30 people turned out for the hearing, and only about 10 spoke, according to Crier reports.
Identifying himself as a “proud native son,” Paul Clark advocated for keeping the mascot. He said he had talked to “many Native Americans who say it’s an honor.”
In January 2002, the Crier reported that CCS was the only district left in the state still employing Redskins as its mascot, according to a list compiled by the state education department.
Borgstrom said although the issue has been addressed some years ago without any action taken, he feels culture evolves and changes and so must CCS.
“I am convinced the time has come to make a change” he said. “We cannot continue on a path of recognizing the importance of diversity education, and cultural sensitivity and continue to be called the Redskins.”
“This issue is a Board of education responsibility. We cannot turn our backs on this topic,” he continued.
Hebert said he does not feel that there are any problems concerning the district’s colors or logo, which features a silhouette of the famous “Indian Hunter” statue by John Quincy Adams Ward in Lake Front Park in Cooperstown.
He said school officials met with student council representatives after the school board meeting to seek assistance going forward with the possible name change.
“We feel it is important to include student leaders if we are going to consider a change of this magnitude,” he said.
More details will be discussed at the district’s next board meeting scheduled for Feb. 6.