The New York State Board of Regents is telling nearly 60 school districts they have until the end of the 2024-25 school year to phase out team names and mascots tied to Native Americans or face a loss of state funding. Appearing on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program, former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says the issue should be decided locally, not state-wide.
Using the Massapequa Chiefs as an example, Curran told Berman and Riedel, “The Massapequa school board came out and very clearly said this is overextending the state’s reach, removing our local control, and we have in New York locally elected school boards, and a lot of people are scratching their heads and saying shouldn’t it be up to the people we actually elect, not these unelected folks, this board put together up in Albany, making these decisions for us?”
Curran added, “This is actually upholding and honoring the history of places like Massapequa and Manhasset- which, by the way, are Native American names. Are we going to start banning those as well, like, are we going to erase this history?”
Overall, Curran says the move is a potential stumbling block for state Democrats. “I think it’s gonna be problematic, and so, of course, my mind goes to politics. Another bad look for Democrats in the suburbs and other places. You know, we’ve got bail reform, we’ve got this housing thing, now you want to take away our sports names, like, what’s next, from these people? Not good for Democrats in an election year that’s coming up locally this year.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images