Wappingers Falls High School Being Forced To Change ‘Offensive’ Nickname?
The High school reportedly has until the end of the school year to change the school moniker or lose state funding.
It's been a topic of discussion in the Wappingers Central School District over the last few years and according to a recent report Roy C. Ketcham High School, along with any other in New York must stop using Native American mascots, nicknames and logos by the end of the 22/23 school year, or risk losing state aid according to SI Live.
Roy C. Ketcham High School opened in Dutchess County back in the early 60s and when it opened the school adopted the Ketcham Indian as its mascot. That mascot, which has remained in place for almost sixty years, has been the center of controversy over the last few years as local residents, and students have called on the school to change its nickname citing it as being offensive.
The Indian nickname name was once a popular name for many schools across the country to use when naming their athletics and student body but in recent years many have chosen to change their names due to it being called racially offensive by some. The push to change names has even reached the professional sports world as both the NFL Washington football team and the Cleveland baseball teams have both changed their names recently, Washington Commanders, and Cleveland Guardians respectively.
New York Schools to Stop Using Native American Mascots, Nicknames, and Logos or Lose State Funding
The New York State Education Department has made it clear that schools have until the end of the school year to make the change saying,
"Those school districts that continue to utilize Native American team names, logos, and/or imagery without current approval from a recognized tribe must immediately come into compliance."
Schools that don't change could be subject to penalties including the removal of school officers and the withholding of state aid.
Will Roy C. Ketcham Change?
That's the question many area residents are asking. We reached out to the High Schools administration and were told that the school isn't aware of any plan to change the school's nickname and that the decision is in the hands of the district's Board of Education.
As a parent with a child in Ketcham currently and one a few years away from attending, I personally feel that the Indian name is one of power and unity and I'm proud to say my children are Ketcham Indians. The Wappingers Falls area is full of Native American history and I think the Indian nickname is a fantastic way to honor the area's history.
Two Hudson Valley Schools Use Indians Nickname
Ketcham is one of only two schools in the Hudson Valley area to still have the Indian moniker with the Mahopac High School being the other. No word on if or when Mahopac might change its name but as more information becomes available we will update this article.
Do you think either school should be forced to change its nicknames?