As you probably know, the NYS Board of Regents voted on Tuesday to approve a regulation which prohibits school districts in NYS from using Indigenous names, logos, and mascots. This is defined by the new regulation as any “name, symbol, or image that depicts or refers to Indigenous persons, tribes, nations, individuals, customs, symbols, or traditions, including any stereotypical aspects of Indigenous cultures, used to represent a public school, including but not limited to such school’s sports teams.” The Board of Regents and the State Education Department have discussed the word “Warriors” as a name that would most likely no longer be allowed if it is at all connected to Indigenous cultures.
Since the State Education Department issued a directive in November 2022 on this matter, the District has been following the developments very closely. At that time, the District believed that there was a possibility that the District would be able to keep the name Warriors if the spear and feather imagery was removed. As a result, the District conducted an audit of where the logo with the spear and feather is being used. Based on its limited use, the District estimated that it would cost approximately $10,000 to eliminate the spear and feather throughout the District, including on the football helmets where it is most prominent.
This topic was discussed at the Community Engagement Team Meeting in January and at the Board of Education Meeting in March. During both of these meetings, it was clear that our community preferred to keep the name Warriors while understanding that it may require eliminating the use of the spear and feather as part of the District’s logo.
Since this week’s ruling provided more direction, including that the name Warriors would likely not be allowed and that the Board of Education must pass a resolution by the end of June stating it would comply with the Board of Regents decision, I wanted to inform our community that we will be discussing this new requirement by the State and its impact on AP during next week’s Board of Education Meeting. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the APHS LGI on Tuesday, April 25. Please note that this meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, as opposed to the usual day of the week (Monday), because of required BOCES votes.
If you have any comments you would like the Board of Education and me to read, please email them to email@example.com.
Dr. James Franchini
Superintendent of Schools