Massachusetts bill would ban Native American school mascots

BOSTON (AP) — A bill that would ban the use of Native American mascots in public schools in Massachusetts is heading to a public hearing.

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.”

The bill gives specific examples, including “Indians,” “Indianettes,” “Chieftains” and “Braves.”

The bill would prohibit “the use of any Native American mascot by a public school” in Massachusetts.

The bill will be heard a 10 a.m. hearing Tuesday by the Legislature’s Education Committee at the Statehouse.

Earlier this year the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee voted to drop Indians as the mascot for Turners Falls High School.