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Term "Redsk*n" is Offensive, Neshaminy Teacher & Former Student Playwickian Editor Testify

Term "Redsk*n" is Offensive, Neshaminy Teacher & Former Student Playwickian Editor Testify | Newtown News of Interest |

District teachers union President Tara Huber and former student and student newspaper editor Gillian McGoldrick said they consider the name Neshaminy uses for its sports teams racist.


Neshaminy School District teachers union President Tara Huber was told by Superintendent Joseph Jones III that she should “find work elsewhere” when she brought up the “Redskin” name and logo the district uses for its sports teams, Huber testified Tuesday during a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearing on the issue.


During the second day of a weeklong series of hearings being held at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township, Huber said she brought up the name issue to Jones last year after a meeting of a district committee designed to promote workplace diversity.


“I asked him how can we be having discussions about workplace diversity while at the same time having a mascot that is racist,” Huber testified.


At one point during their talk, Jones told her she should “find work elsewhere” if she felt that way, Huber added.


During her lengthy testimony Tuesday, Huber recounted the long history of the “Redskin” issue as it related to the Neshaminy student newspaper The Playwickian. Huber, an English teacher at Neshaminy School, was faculty advisor to the newspaper from 2000 to 2016.


The newspaper first published an editorial opposing the use of the name in 2001, and then two more during Huber’s later years as advisor. In 2013, a majority of the editorial staff voted to ban use of the name from the paper. The district eventually imposed a policy that the name could be deleted from stories but not from submitted letters or opinion pieces, Huber said.


McGoldrick, a 2016 Neshaminy graduate and a junior at Temple University, was on the Playwickian staff all four years of high school and was editor-in-chief her last year. She had started attending Neshaminy schools as a sixth-grader after going to Catholic schools before that.


She testified that her opinion about the use of the name changed in 2013 during a newsroom debate on the issue.


“I just accepted it at first and didn’t think much about it,” she said. “I knew it was a big tradition. During this debate I started on the side that was defending use of the name. Then, somebody on the other side compared use of the Redskin name to (another slur), and that made me just get up and change sides. It felt like I had been lied to, that I had been bamboozled into thinking use of ‘Redskin’ was OK and I had been accepting it for so long.”


johnmacknewtown's insight:


The suit from the state commission came after a 2013 lawsuit filed by Donna Fann-Boyle, the mother of a Neshaminy student. The suit said her child was Native American and suffered educational and other harm due to the "mascot." Ms. Fann-Boyle is scheduled to testify today (Jan 10, 2019).


Related Articles:

  • “Public Hearing to Remove Neshaminy High School's Discriminatory Mascot Name & Image”;
  • “Use of Term "Redskin" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies”; 
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