The "Redskins" at four California high schools have until Jan. 1, 2017 to find a new name. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that bans public schools in the state from using the term for sports team or their mascots, reports the Los Angeles Times. This is the first statewide ban of the term and the National Congress of American Indians praised the move as a "shining example" to other states that puts California on the "right side of history," reports NBC. The group, which describes the term as "demeaning and damaging," says it hopes the California law will put more pressure on the Washington Redskins to change their name.
The move affects high schools in Madera County, Calaveras County, Tulare County, and Merced County, where opponents say the name has been used for generations and shouldn't be considered offensive, the Merced Sun-Star reports. The state will provide funds to help the schools buy things like new uniforms and signs, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Brown approved the "Redskins" bill but vetoed a measure banning public parks and buildings from being named after Confederate figures, saying the issue is "quintessentially for local decision makers," reports the LA Times. (This California high school retired its controversial Arab mascot—and replaced it with another Arab mascot.)