When students from New Hampshire's Belmont High School go before the school board Tuesday night to demand a change to their "Red Raiders" Native American mascot, they won't have the support of a New Hampshire senator who demanded the Washington Redskins junk their name and logo.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who joined 49 other Democratic senators in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging an end to the storied Redskins name, believes that schools should decide among themselves on mascot changes.
The Concord Monitor reported that Shaheen won't get involved in the local controversy.
"Senator Shaheen believes schools and local communities should decide whether or not they change their mascots," her spokesman said in a statement to the paper.
Shaheen is in a re-election race against former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.
The letter she signed to Goodell said, "The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of history." It added, "Tribes have worked for generations to preserve the right to speak their languages and perform their sacred ceremonies. Yet every Sunday during football season, the Washington, D.C. football team mocks their culture. The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur."
But her outrage won’t be heard at the school board meeting where students plan to press for an end to using an Image of a Native American on the school’s logo.
Students at Belmont High School who want changes in the school's mascot and team logo will be presenting their final report on the feelings of the community, the school's staff and the students to the school board Tuesday night.
The students will be asking to change the Image on the Red Raiders logo, said Superintendent Maria Dreyer, but not the "Red Raider" name itself.
“Their goal is to change the Image to something other than anything or any facial Image related to a Native American,” Dreyer said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.