School board may reverse students’ ban of ‘Redskin’ from Neshaminy High paper

     A mural of the Neshaminy High School mascot, the Redskin.  (Eugene Sonn/WHYY)

    A mural of the Neshaminy High School mascot, the Redskin. (Eugene Sonn/WHYY)

    The Neshaminy School Board has moved one step closer to overturning the decision of student newspaper editors to stop printing the racially charged name of the district’s mascot.

     

    Students at Neshaminy High School in Bucks County voted in October to stop using the term “Redskin” in the student publication, The Playwickian.

    According to the Bucks County Courier Times, school board member Steve Pirritano explained his objections to the policy adopted by the student editors at a board committee meeting Tuesday night.

    “If my son wants to write something proud about being a Redskin football player, the students on that paper, under the law, have no right to tell him he has to take the word ‘Redskin’ out of there,” Pirritano said.

    Ultimately, the board committee voted to block student editors from removing the word Redskin from articles when used in a “non-offensive” way.

    Junior Reed Hennessy, the sports editor for The Playwickian, said the editors who voted for the policy should be able to make their own decisions about what language crosses a line.

    “You have a very educated group of students sitting every day, making a newspaper. And you’re trying to control what they’re doing and writing about and discussing,” he said. “That’s taking away an educational opportunity right there.”

    The board, which Hennessy said isn’t responding to student requests for comment, also did not respond to messages from WHYY.

    The full school board could vote on the policy as soon as Tuesday.

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