Parents, residents plan to bring up mascot issue at West Hartford school board meeting
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - In February, the West Hartford Town Council voted to change the names of the Conard High School Chieftains and Hall High School Warriors.
Now, it looks like some people in town want to keep the names. A petition was drafted.
A group said that it reached out to the tribal council of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation and said the tribe found the current names “respectful use of names, images, and symbols that recognize the history and culture of Native Americans.”
The name change came after a new law passed back in June that banned public schools from getting grant money from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan fund if a school uses nicknames or mascots deemed offensive.
At a recent Board of Education meeting, supporters shared what the chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation had to say about keeping the original names.
“If Native American tribal members in Connecticut tell us they are honored by these names and wish to continue using them, then who are we to challenge them,” said Scott Zweig of West Hartford.
“The most powerful thing that Chief [Richard] Velky [said], the current eradication of the current native American names and images from our schools and teams is another genocide of the Native American people,” another supporter said.
The topic did not appear on the town Board of Education agenda for Tuesday’s meeting at 7 p.m.; however, parents and residents said they plan to attend and bring it up.
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