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North Haven schools ditch offensive mascot, search for new one

Fisher Cats, Nighthawks, Phoenix, Ravens, Storm and Wolfpack.

Those are the names students from North Haven High School will soon pick from to replace “Indians.”

The town’s school board unanimously agreed to move on from the current mascot in July, and in early December, North Haven High School students will vote to determine the new one.

The North Haven Mascot Committee met on Nov. 16 to review more than 300 submissions from students and citizens for new mascots, according to a news release from members of the committee responsible for selecting the six finalists. “Each of the submissions were checked against the guidelines and considered carefully as they needed to be a symbol of North Haven town pride, exciting, authentic, meaningful and sensitive.”

In recent years, Connecticut school districts with mascots offensive to Native Americans have updated names for their sports teams. Guilford and Manchester replaced “Indians” with “Grizzlies” and “Red Hawks,” respectively. Others have struggled, including Killingly’s school board, which had replaced and subsequently restored “Redmen.” But state officials are incentivizing districts to abandon offensive mascots by threatening to cut their funding if they don’t. A lack of action could have cost North Haven $87,000.

The vote will be held the week of Dec. 6.

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