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Use of Term "Redsk*n" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies

Use of Term "Redsk*n" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Monday was the first day of a week-long series of hearings at Bucks County Community College on the school district’s name for its sports teams.

The term “Redskin” to refer to Native Americans is not racist in origin, a witness for the Neshaminy School District testified Monday during the first day of a week-long series of hearings being held by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.

The commission filed a lawsuit in 2015 against the district for its use of the name for its sports teams and is seeking to force Neshaminy to change it.

Andre Billeaudeaux, who worked with many Native American tribes during his years in the Coast Guard and has written a book “How the Redskins Got Their Name,” testified that the name comes from the former practice of many tribes — including local ones — of applying sacred red paint to their skin before battle.

“Tribes of this region called themselves Redskins,” Billeaudeaux said. “Redskins has many uses, and can be used in a derogatory way, but not from a native’s perspective. This is who they are. This is what they did. The word Redskin is not a racial slur, and Native Americans support it as a name for sports teams.”

The PHRC filed its suit against the district two years after a Neshaminy parent filed one on behalf of her son that was voluntarily dismissed.

On questioning from commission attorney Lisa Knight, Billeaudeux said the imagery on Neshaminy’s uniforms should be modified to be more “region specific.”

During a break from the hearing, he added that the word “warrior” should probably be added to make the team name “Redskin Warrior.”

The public hearings are scheduled to continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day this week in the Rollins Center at the BCCC Newtown Township campus, 275 Swamp Road. Commission spokeswoman Renee Martin said the PHRC will not issue a ruling until weeks or months after the hearings are concluded, and that the school district can appeal to Commonwealth Court if the ruling is not in its favor.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

I attended this meeting to see how the PA Human Rights Commission (HRC) operates and meet people who may be of help to the Newtown Township HRC (for more on that, read "

Newtown Township BOS 2018 Accomplishments").

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Newtown News of Interest
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