Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg said he opposes a ban on Native American mascots in public schools. A bill proposed in the legislature would do just that. Rosenberg was asked about the proposal during an interview on WGBH radio.
"It should be a matter of local decision," Rosenberg said. "One of my communities just went through this debate and it is really about local standard."
In February, the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee voted to remove Indians as the mascot for Turner Falls High School. The vote followed criticism that the mascot was offensive to Native Americans.
The Boston Globe reports Massachusetts still has 40 high schools that use the word "Indian" or similar representations in logos or mascots.
The bill defines a Native American mascot as "a name, symbol, or image that depicts or refers to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom, or tradition that is used by a public school as a mascot, nickname, logo, letterhead, or team name."