Hudson Valley School Changes Mascot to Meet New York Compliance
After being told by the New York State Education Department that they needed to stop using any Indigenous names, mascots, or emblems last winter, one Dutchess County school district has changed its mascot.
Back last winter all schools in New York State were told by the New York State Education Department that if their school uses an Indigenous name, mascot, and/or emblem for any of its athletic teams they would need to cease using and come up with a replacement name by the end of the school year or risk losing state aid for the school.
Webutuck Warriors No More
For many years the Webutuck School District proudly used the moniker and mascot "warriors", which could be seen on most of the school's athletic team's jerseys but it appears that is changing. After years of using Warriors, the school has announced that the school district has officially approved a name change at the district's most recent board meeting.
Webutuck School Changing Name
The school district announced a while back that they had begun to explore new names for the school's mascot after they were informed that they need to change the name to be in compliance of the Dignity for All Students Act. The name rule became permeant on May 3rd, 2023, and prohibits New York public schools from using Indigenous names, logos, or mascots.
"WHEREAS, the District has endeavored to cease all use of its mascot as of June 30, 2023, and has committed to a new mascot, free of indigenous names, logos, and mascots."
After taking suggestions from the school community, and holding numerous voting sessions throughout the spring, the school district has announced they will now be called the Webutuck Wildcats.
According to the school districts website, the new Wildcat moniker was approved at the school board meeting on July 10th,
"NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education hereby adopts and approves the use of Webutuck Wildcats as the name and mascot for the North East (Webutuck) Central School District and likewise approves the use of the attached rendering which shall serve as the image representing such mascot. This resolution shall be effective immediately."
The school is hopeful to have all "warrior" references replaced with "wildcats" around the school campus and on team jerseys by the beginning of the new school year in September.