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Killingly Board of Ed reinstates controversial mascot

KILLINGLY — Killingly High School was originally home of the Redmen, then it was the Redhawks, then there was a period of time where there was no mascot a...

KILLINGLY -- Killingly High School was originally home of the Redmen, then it was the Redhawks, then there was a period of time where there was no mascot at all.

Wednesday night the Board of Education voted to change it back to the Redmen and not everyone in town is happy about it.

It’s an issue that has divided a community, and has been up for debate for months now.

Some say the name was racially insensitive to Native Americans.

Last night the board of education voted five to  four to change it back to the Redmen.

“I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t think it’s the right decision. I know there are native Americans who are offended by this and I don’t think we, who are not native Americans, have the right to tell them if they should be offended or not,” said Mary Ellen Snyder.

Others saying the name was part of the history.

“If somebody doesn’t like a name then that’s their prerogative, doesn’t mean it has to change that’s my opinion,” said Andrew Lapa of Killingly.

This all started after some students and parents said the name was derogatory.

Over the summer the school board voted to change the name to the Redhawks, but after a new administration was voted it in they decided to have no mascot at all for the time being, that was until last night.

“They should have just left it alone... Redmen, warriors, Indians they used to be revered and looked up to. They play hard, they fight hard, leave it alone,” said Pete Reardon.

Over the summer the school board said they had received requests from  tribes in the state to no longer use the culture’s imagery as their mascot.

The Killingly Board of Education released a statement regarding the issue.

"A motion was made to reinstate the Killingly Redmen name and to form a subcommittee to look at updating the logo design so an imagery used shall not portray Native Americans in a negative stereotype and is displayed with cultural sensitivity and in an historically correct manner. The subcommittee will also develop an education curriculum to install in students an appreciation of Native American Heritage and insure that they do not form the idea that it is acceptable to stereotype any group."