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Nickname debate continues in Lancaster

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Even a meeting over the school budget turned into a battleground last night for the continuing fight over Lancaster schools use of Redskins as the sports team nickname.

A budget work session packed a meeting room so much that police had to escort a large part of the crowd out to meet fire code limits. The crowd outside turned rowdy and raucous to the point the budget presentation couldn't be heard.

Police guarded the door to control entry and exit to the room and the school board eventually left by a side door.

Ninth grader Jasmine Scott said the students should have been allowed to vote on whether to keep the name.

"Because it's like been with us and everyone who graduated, they graduated with us. Our parents graduated with it. We want to keep the tradition. We want to graduate with it and they shouldn't just change it without asking us," Scott said.

Lawyers are being consulted to see if the board could change the nickname to something yet to be decided or if there has to be a vote. Supporters of Redskins are vowing to force some current members off the school board and bring the name back and are also planning on changing the makeup of the Lancaster Town Board.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.