SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After the New York State Board of Regents prohibited the use of Indigenous team names, mascots and logos, most of the affected public schools have come into compliance but some have pushed back including Mohonasen High School. 

The school plans to remove the logos with Indigenous imagery, and is already in the process of phasing those out, but has not started the process of removing the name “Warriors”. 

Mohonasen Central School District Superintendent Shannon Shine says they will no longer purchase new items with the logos or name but have stopped short of removing the name – for now. 

“What I’m trying to find out, if there’s ways to mitigate costs like covering things instead of replacing or taking something that was used and reusing it,” said Shine. 

He said they have a local signage company they want to get an itemized quote from but that price tag can run upwards of $35,0000.

Shine says they plan on taking their time rolling out a full rebrand to see if it can keep its “Warriors” team name.

District Board of Education President Wade Abbott says they plan on complying, with what’s necessary, but have been occupied with more pressing matters.

“The biggest reason to push pause on that process is quite frankly the challenges that we have right now with the asylum seekers,” said Abbott. “We can’t just go rip up fields and floors immediately, at least not without significant cost to taxpayers.” 

About 70 children of asylum seekers will be starting school in Mohonasen Central School District on September 7.

The district does not want to make, what they called, “avoidable errors” and are monitoring the processes other school districts are undertaking.

While the New York State resolution was recently passed, back in 2005 the American Psychological Association recommended the retirement of all Indigenous mascots, symbols and images from schools, colleges and professional sports teams.

Former APA President Ronald Levant said the changes are necessary.

“The reason we reach that conclusion is that the mascots of sports teams – whether it’s high school or college or professional – stereotypes Native Americans, often with fairly negative stereotypes,” said Levant. “There’s a lot of evidence that it affects self-esteem and of course, self-esteem is very much related to identity development and part of our identity often is our race and ethnicity.”

Levant said the research shows the imagery can seriously curtail a person’s performance.

“We consider such mascots to do harm to Native kids and Native families by basically promoting harmful stereotypes we know from all kinds of psychological research, stereotypes negatively impact people,” said Levant. “Relative to other things we study, the results are pretty solid.”

Levant said even if folks are not insulted by the stereotypes they can still have a detrimental impact. But, he said, he understands why some are reluctant to let go.

“If something’s a part of your cultural tradition you want to hold onto it, but one of the things we seem to lack in this country right now is an ability to see things from other peoples’ point of view,” said Levant.

Shine says they’re monitoring local legal actions, and other potential challenges that may spring up in Long Island. 

The Cambridge Central School District school board has taken the matter all the way to the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division. The board lost its appeal on the issue with a decision handed down by Justice Sara McGintyon on June 20.  

The board has not taken formal action since filing an appeal to Justice McGinty’s decision, according to a district spokesperson who added residents are adamant on keeping the name “Indians.”

“Stereotyping of racial and ethnic minorities is something I’d like to see our country put behind us in the rearview mirror and anything we can do to help move that social change along, I’m glad to be a part of,” said Levant. 

Shine says he’s confident the district can move quickly on the name change, once a decision is made to change the name or not. 

“I’m actually surprised we are as far along as we are given how many challenges we had this summer,” said Shine.

Abbott and Shine both said if there’s a change it’s expected to get underway in January.