Education board considers reinstating Native American mascot

December 7, 2019 GMT

KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) — A board of education in Connecticut is considering whether to bring back the Native American-themed name for an athletic mascot.

Students at Killingly High School selected Red Hawks to replace Redmen and the Killingly Board of Education approved the change in October. It was the culmination of a yearslong process that began with citizen complaints to the board about the offensive nature of the former mascot.

The Norwich Bulletin reports that newly-elected Republican members of the education board made a campaign promise to reverse the change.


The board, with a Republican majority, meets Wednesday. They plan to discuss rescinding the motion that formally changed the name to Red Hawks.

Jason Muscara, one of the four incoming Republican board members, said Friday the board shouldn’t have made the change without more input from residents, though he’s aware that changing the name back goes against national trends. He wants to reinstate the Redmen name.

Democratic board member Hoween Flexer said reversing the change would embarrass the district.

Some residents who spoke at a June board meeting about the topic denied there were racist connotations. The former mascot featured the profile of a Native American man wearing a headdress. Several local tribal representatives have criticized it as inappropriate, racist and stereotypical.