State orders school district to remove Indian mascot

The New York Education Department has reportedly ordered the school district in a small upstate community to remove an Indian mascot from use or face a loss of state funding.

The Cambridge Central School District is north of Albany in Washington County.  The Indian name and mascot have been a contentious issue in the community since a July 2020 petition was started asking to retire the name and logo.

According to a letter posted by the Times Union, Education Commissioner Betty Rosa sent the district a letter threatening to cut the district’s state aid.

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The letter stated that the district needed to replace any items that have the mascot and imagery "as they reach the end of their effective use" by July 1, 2021, but had continued to use them "on official correspondence and on social media postings."

The district removed the Indian mascot image as the profile image for the district's Facebook page but it remained posted in the page's photo gallery as of Thursday afternoon.

The school district says it feels singled out since there are dozens of other school districts in the state with similar mascots Superintendent Doug Silvernell told the paper.

Cambridge Central School was the site of the Norman Rockwell painting "Girl With Black Eye" or "Triumph in Defeat" which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 23, 1953.