A Philadelphia-area high school newspaper has taken a stand against the use of their nickname, the “Redskins”, and are getting flack for it from school officials according to a report from Maryclaire Dale of the Associated Press.
In an excerpt from the AP report, the contention over the Neshaminy High School mascot began with an editorial published in the student newspaper – The Playwickian – late in October:
The Playwickian editors started getting heat from school officials after an Oct. 27 editorial that barred the use of the word “Redskins” — the nickname of the teams at Neshaminy, a school named for the creek where the Lenape Indians once lived.
“Detractors will argue that the word is used with all due respect. But the offensiveness of a word cannot be judged by its intended meaning, but by how it is received,” read the editorial backed by 14 of 21 staff members. (An equally well-written op-ed voiced the dissenting group’s opinion.)
According to the report, alumni of the school have submitted ads supporting the nickname, while both the Student Press Law Center and American Civil Liberties Union of PA have supported the newspaper’s right to not publish the nickname.
“I don’t think that’s been decided at the national level, whether that word is or is not (offensive). It’s our school mascot,” said school Principal Robert McGee. “I see it as a First Amendment issue running into another First Amendment issue.”
The “Redskins” name has been a topic of national debate for quite some time. The Washington Redskins have long supported the use of the term, which many – if not most – people deem an obvious derogatory racial slur against Native Americans.
Cheers for taking a stand, Playwickian.