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Education

Lancaster School District changing Redskins nickname

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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The Lancaster School board had no intention to make a decision on the future of the district nickname of Redskins until the lacrosse team was hit with refusals to play from three other school districts with large Native American student populations. The board voted unanimously Monday night to drop the nickname immediately.

No one in the district administration is clear where the nickname came from 68-years ago but it will be replaced.

Board President Kenneth Graber said there was no intention to do anything because feelings are too strong until the three other schools dropped Lancaster from their lacrosse schedules.

The special meeting in William Street School was loud and raucous and there were threats to defeat incumbents and defeat the budget vote May 19.
   
"We were afraid, not so much the boycotting but what if some kind of physical violence resulted from this," Graber said.

"We had to act. We don't want it to get any worse than it was. And everybody has to understand, I think it was Mrs. MacKay was the one who said it, others arguing over a name for children to use in an athletic contest. It's not worth risking anyone's safety over that."

Graber said a committee will be put together immediately to find a replacement nickname. Supporters of the current nickname were very angry afterwards, with one saying a radical group had come in to oppose the name.

There was a large group of Native Americans at the meeting who shook hands with board members afterwards.