Local schools respond after Washington NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name

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The controversial ‘Redskins’ name has been retired. The NFL team made the official announcement this morning.

And here in Mid-Michigan some schools are dealing with the same debate.

“I think it’s been a long time coming,” Okemos student athlete Jack Campbell said of the Washington’s decision.

He says he hopes his school takes the same step soon.

“It doesn’t make sense that one team could just be named redskins…. like it’d be bad if any other team named their team like ‘blackskins,’ no one would like that,” Campbell said.

We reached out to Okemos school officials but we did not hear back.

Over in Lansing, district officials say Sexton High School no longer uses a logo with Native American references.

“We changed several years ago and transitioned the logo and references to the a big red S like the Spartan logo but in red, with a 2 because Sexton is now a STEM2 early college school,” said district spokesman, Robert Kolt. “The arrows keep a recognition to the school heritage, but again there are no Native American references anymore.”

However, images at the field still use the picture of an American Indian with a headdress.

As the debate continues, the Michigan High School Athletic Association says all schools should strive to be inclusive.

“It’s wrong to have any sort of nickname or mascot that is divisive or hurtful,” Geoff Kimmerly with the MHSAA said.

At the end of the day, these decisions are made by the district locally. But the MHSAA encourages schools to keep an open dialogue when it comes to mascots and nicknames.

“These are local decisions. they’re made by school boards, by school administrators, at the individual schools across the state. but we encourage schools to have these conversations. There’s not a better time than the present,” said Kimmerly.

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