(Cooperstown, NY – March 7, 2013) The Cooperstown Central School Board of Education voted 6-1 Wednesday night to remove the Redskins mascot from its interscholastic athletic, extracurricular and academic programs. The move was prompted by last month’s vote by the student body, asking that the mascot be changed. The Oneida Indian Nation was so moved by the actions of the Cooperstown students, that a letter by Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter was written to the students, commending their decision and offering to make a contribution to help offset the cost of changing mascots.
In response to last night’s vote by the Cooperstown Board of Education, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said, “We congratulate the Board of Education on its decision to transition to a new, more inclusive mascot. As we stated in our letter to the students last month, the Oneida Indian Nation is honored to be able to provide a donation to the Cooperstown Central School to help offset the cost of changing mascots. The students and administration at Cooperstown Central School have provided a model for the rest of the country that says we can still honor our schools and our sports teams without dishonoring our country’s races, cultures and shared heritage.”
According to the Oneonta Daily Star, Cooperstown’s official retirement of the name Redskins will take place June 30 and a timetable for making a decision on a new mascot has not been set.