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Board of education votes to reinstate Native American mascot

January 9, 2020 GMT

KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) — A board of education in Connecticut voted to bring back a controversial Native American-themed athletic mascot.

The Killingly Board of Education opted to reinstate the Redmen mascot at a meeting Wednesday, the Norwich Bulletin reported. In October, the same board approved the new Red Hawks mascot after it was overwhelmingly approved by students at Killingly High School.

Several students, faculty members and local tribal representatives have criticized the original mascot as inappropriate, racist and stereotypical. It featured the profile of a Native American man wearing a headdress.

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Newly elected Republican members of the education board made a campaign promise to reverse the change. The board, with a Republican majority, held a public meeting on Dec. 11 where it voted to remove the Red Hawks mascot but tied on whether to return to the original mascot.

More than a dozen people, including students and Native American representatives, spoke out against the decision to keep original mascot at the meeting. They also sought some other compromise, the Bulletin reported.

At the Wednesday meeting, the board also voted to appoint a subcommittee that would update the high school logo so it doesn’t “portray Native Americans in a negative stereotype.”