California Bans Use Of Offensive ‘R’ Word, Drawing Praise From Native Americans



Officials from California high schools expressed disappointment Monday as prepared to do away with a mascot they see as historic and beloved – the Redskins – after the nickname was banned by a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

California’s new law speaks to the larger national conversation surrounding the Washington Redskins and the mounting pressure on the NFL football team to change its name.

The ban will go into effect on Jan 1, 2017 to give schools in Merced, Calaveras, Tulare and Madera counties an adequate amount of time to phase out all the materials that bear the name and mascot.

The advocacy groups lauded California for “standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state’s schools”.

The wording of this opens the door for anyone at any time now and in the future to use this act to force a school to change its school name and mascot.

In California, proponents of the “Redskins” school mascot ban have cited a peer-reviewed study by researchers at the University of Arizona, Stanford University and the University of Michigan that found American Indian youth who were exposed to Native American mascots and stereotypical imagery reported a diminished sense of what they could achieve academically.

The four schools affected adopted their mascot years ago.

“I would say somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000, ‘ Weatherby said”.

A few superintendents said would abide by the law, even though they felt the governor should let local governments deal with the issue.

The schools have expressed the importance of having the community and students involved in picking a new mascot. I wanted to graduate as a redskin.

There was, also, an additional bill, that Governor Brown didn’t sign, that would have made similar demands on schools that use any manner of Confederate States of America names or imagery. Schools are not required to remove existing signs or fixtures by a certain date.

But how do native tribes in Calaveras County feels about the mascot change?

The law, he said, creates “an opportunity for Native youth to obtain an education free from mockery”.