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School Drops 'Redmen' Name

Utah high school is latest to ditch Native American name
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 7, 2019 12:05 AM CST
In this Jan. 11, 2019 photo, students cheer on their team during a basketball game at Cedar High School in Cedar City, Utah.   (Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
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(Newser) – Sports teams will no longer be known as the "Redmen" at a southern Utah high school, becoming the latest to get rid of a Native American name deemed offensive despite opposition from some residents and a national American Indian group, the AP reports. The Iron County School Board voted 3-2 Tuesday night to approve a recommendation from a committee that concluded Cedar High School should stop using the term that critics consider a racial slur. School board President Stephen Allen said Wednesday that deciding to change a name used since the 1940s was difficult but correct. Native American students who account for 6% of the high school's population reported being bullied over the name and feeling shame and embarrassment, Allen said.

"We know that much of the world would consider the term 'Redmen' a racial slur and derogatory, even though local citizens do not intend it that way," Allen said. The nearby Paiute Indian Tribe was glad the committee studied the issue but didn't ask for a name change, Allen said. One of the five bands that make up the tribe, the Kanosh Band, advocated for the change. The national group Native American Guardians Association traveled to Utah to push for keeping the name, which it considers a way to preserve Native American history, co-founder Eunice Davidson said. Other national groups call the names racist and urge changes. (The Cleveland Indians dropped their "Chief Wahoo" mascot last year.)

(Read more Utah stories.)

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