Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Local News

January 31, 2013

Students to vote on school nickname , narrowing to three choices

Cooperstown Central School students will be pulled out of class on Monday to be polled about whether the school should retain the nickname “Redskins,” which according to school officials dates back to the mid-1900s.

According to Superintendent C.J. Hebert, students, faculty and staff will complete a survey indicating their preferences for as many as three nicknames among nine offered to them. Keeping the Redskins nickname will be an option, and space will be provided to suggest a name that is not listed. The three most popular choices will be presented to the board of education at a 5 p.m. meeting Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Borgtrom said the student council was called upon to help come up with the alternative names, and it suggested Coyotes, Deer Slayers, Hawkeyes, Hawks, Hunters, Leatherstockings, Pioneers, Red Hawks and Wolves.

Borgstrom made the announcement to middle and high school students last Thursday, following a leadership assembly.

“Why?” Borgstrom asked rhetorically. “Times are changing, and our culture is continuing to evolve. Some of you were witnesses of the inauguration of the second term of the first African-American president in our nation’s history. Locally, we have been through a lot in the past four years. We have put in a lot of effort to recognize change, diversity, cultural sensitivity and character.”

According to Borgstrom, students have come forward to relate specific conversations with people unfamiliar with the school. When the issue of the school mascot nickname came up, he said, the students said they felt uncomfortable and embarrassed.

This is not the first time the school has considered a change.

State Education Commissioner Richard Mills sent a letter to school boards in April 2001, asking them to change Indian-related mascots and logos as soon as possible.

An 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. About 30 people turned out for the hearing, but only about 10 spoke, according to The Cooperstown Crier.

Text Only
Local News

New Today!