John Jay High School students in Cross River will have a chance to cast their vote Wednesday on whether to keep the name of their school mascot as the "Indians," after the Campus Congress requested a change.
The decision to allow a school-wide vote came after Campus Congress members approached the topic during a forum with their peers, said John Jay Principal Steven Siciliano.
Although the vote is non-binding, it is "an exercise in democracy," Siciliano said.
After the students vote, the totals will be tallied and announced on the school's website Wednesday afternoon, he added.
If the vote is in favor of changing the name, school officials will meet with the Campus Congress in January and discuss what steps to take next. It does not mean an automatic name change, due to the many layers involved in undertaking such a change, Siciliano said.
In 2001, the New York Department of Education released a study that found that Native Americans do find Indian mascots to be disrespectful. The idea has been discussed several times in the past, but the mascot has remained the same.
Check back with Daily Voice for an update on the vote.
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