Students in Eugene Brooks Intermediate and Webutuck High schools will have an opportunity to design a new Warriors logo for the district.
“We’re going to work with the art department in the high school and the intermediate school on creating a new logo for our Warrior mascot,” said Superintendent of Schools Ray Castellani. “They will submit three to five choices to the Board of Education and the school district at-large to vote on.
“It’s an exciting time. It gives us an opportunity to look into the future. Our students have a say, and they’re excited, too.”
The North East Central School District Board of Education and Administration have decided to change its school logo to comply with a decision in a letter from the New York State Education Department to prohibit the utilization of Native American mascots.
The letter, dated Nov. 17, 2022, from the New York State Education Department states that, “should a district fail to affirmatively commit to replacing its Native American team name, logo or imagery by the end of the 2022-2023 school year, it may be in willful violation of the Dignity Act. The penalties for such a violation include the removal of school officers and the withholding of State Aid.”
The State Education Department previously had opposed the utilization of Native American mascots. In 2001, former Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills asked school districts “to end the use of Native American mascots as soon as practical.”
Since 2001, some districts in the Hudson Valley have dropped their Native American mascot or logo. Onteora High School, which competes in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League with Webutuck in athletics, changed its name from Indians to Eagles in 2016.
Minisink Valley, which competes in Section 9 athletics with Webutuck and also is known as the Warriors, started an ongoing process to change its Native American logo a few years ago and is expected to have its new logo district wide by the end of the 2022-2023 school year.