Indian mascot of Cambridge starts to disappear from buildings | Local







Mascot of the Cambridge School

An image of a Cambridge Indian has been posted on the notice board of Cambridge Central School, in line with the July 1 deadline set by State Education Commissioner Betty Rose to remove the Native American nickname and images from the school.


Evan Lawrence, specially for The Post-Star


CAMBRIDGE. An Indian disappears from the Cambridge Central School campus.

The profile of the Eastern Woods Warrior was on full display during the 2022 graduation ceremony on June 24, but the cover-up began early next week.

An image of an Indian was taped to a sign and bulletin board in front of the school. Decals were removed from school cars and storage areas, and the “Indian House” image and slogan on the football field press box were covered in white material. The Native American profile and the name “Indians” remained on football scoreboards.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Sarah McGuinty ruled on June 21 that the school must meet a July 1 deadline set by state education commissioner Betty Rose to remove the Native American nickname and images it has used since the 1950s. The decision was the latest step in an ongoing dispute over whether the school should honor the wishes of Native American communities who don’t want to be white people’s mascots, or protect local traditions.

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Mascot of the Cambridge School

The black square on the sign of Cambridge Central School obscures the profile of the Indian on the school’s coat of arms.


Evan Lawrence, specially for The Post-Star


At a school board meeting in January, school superintendent Douglas Silvernell estimated that changing the name on signage, uniforms, websites and printed materials, and removing the ubiquitous image, would cost the school district more than $92,400. This amount does not include the cost of modifying or replacing football and basketball scoreboards.

In June, Silvernell revealed a $61,000 estimate to renovate a high school gymnasium floor that had a Native American on the boards.







Mascot of the Cambridge School

White material covers the “House of the Indians” on the football press box of Cambridge Central School.


Evan Lawrence, specially for The Post-Star


“The project will be put up for auction and the actual cost will depend on the outcome of the auction,” County spokesman Chris Crucetti said in an email. “Apart from internal work, the county has spent nothing on exports. For now, the logo is closed on campus.”

In an unsigned statement posted June 27 on the school’s website, the school board acknowledged that the school district had begun laying off the Indian.

“While the Board of Education has not yet determined how it will proceed with this legal matter, the District has begun the process of removing or hiding the ‘Indian’ nickname or images on our campus,” the statement said.

“The Commissioner of Education’s prior decision and the court’s decision bind the county to a July 1, 2022 expulsion deadline. The county is required by law to comply with this directive at this time and has no choice in this matter. While we understand that many are upset by this decision, we cannot risk the consequences this could have on our students if we do not act. The Board of Education is considering options and will consider the matter at a board meeting on July 7th.”

In a memo to the school board dated 09.09. On October 15, Rosa warned the school district that violating her order could result in the dismissal of school employees or the withholding of public funds. The school challenged her decision, but McGinty ruled in Rosa’s favor.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the agenda for Thursday night’s school board meeting had not been released. Board of Education president Jessica Ziem, who had the only seat in the election, had no official challengers and won the inclusion campaign easily, so the composition of the school board did not change.







Mascot of the Cambridge School

The Indian profile and nickname still appear on the Cambridge Central School football scoreboard.


Evan Lawrence, specially for The Post-Star