School Board Members At NY High School Agree To Retire 'Indians' Mascot

Sean Adams
November 08, 2019 - 10:32 am
John Jay High School

Sean Adams/WCBS 880


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- After decades of debate, the "Indians" mascot will finally be retired from a high school in Westchester County.

While the Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education did not vote at its meeting Thursday night, the Journal News reports reached a consensus that it's time to change John Jay High School's mascot and nickname, agreeing it is not in line with the district policy of inclusion.

The board acknowledged the community is divided. 

"I understand where the Native Americans are coming from, but this has been the mascot here for years," said postmaster Tom Carson. "I, as an African-American man, I get it, but I don't think it's right to take it away from the kids. They're not abusing it. There are people on both sides of the aisle but as far as I'm concerned it would hurt the kids, it would hurt the school, let it stay. "

"It's not offensive in my eyes, it's been here a long time," a lifelong resident said.

Board members noted that the mascot's original intent was not to be offensive, but rather to honor native history. 

Once a new mascot is chosen, it will cost tens of thousands of dollars to change uniforms, signs, and the gym floor. 

It is unclear when the change will occur.

The board will discuss the matter further at a meeting later this month.