Killingly to Reconsider Mascot in Light of National Controversy - NBC Connecticut

Killingly to Reconsider Mascot in Light of National Controversy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Killingly to Reconsider Use of Native American Mascot

    While Native American leaders put more pressure on the Washington Redskins to change their mascot, Killingly High School is also considering making a change. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014)

    The use of Native American references in team mascots isn't just a national debate – a number of local high schools are also joining the discussion, including the one in Killingly.

    Sports teams in Killingly have been known as "the Redmen" for more than a century, but some students say it may be time for a change.

    "It's a little racy, a little controversial in my opinion," said Killingly High School senior Steven Dellabaiea. "I think it should be looked at."

    Killingly upt. Kevin Farr says a parent recently contacted him with concerns, and now school officials are taking a look at what they can do about it.

    There are currently no immediate plans to change the mascot, but Farr says he expects the Board of Education to tackle the issue this year.

    "We're actually taking a proactive approach to it, having student groups have a conversation about it," Farr explained.

    It comes amid mounting pressure on the Washington Redskins to change their name. A campaign called "Change the Mascot" sent letters to 31 other NFL teams asking them to use their authority and take action against Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

    Tribal leaders held a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

    "The Washington R-word is a dictionary-defined racial term. THere is no way it can be used to honor a people," said Ray Halbritter of the United Indian Nation, during the press conference in Washington.