While it’s clear that team owner Daniel Snyder has no interest in changing the name of the NFL franchise he owns, there are still many individuals who are bothered by that insensitive name.
Count one Maryland primary school among them.
Green Acres School, an independent school in Bethesda, Md. for children in preschool through eighth grade, posted a letter to families on its website this week asking that students no longer wear clothing bearing the Washington Redskins name or logo to school.
Signed by head of school Neal Brown, the letter states, “the term ‘Redskin’ is a racial slur. Its use, whether intentional or not, can be deeply insulting and offensive.”
Green Acres is about 25 miles north of FedEx Field, where Washington plays its home games.
It continued: “It is a term that demeans a group of people. Similarly, the team’s logo also can reasonably be viewed as racially demeaning. At best, the image is an ethnic stereotype that promotes cultural misunderstanding; at worst, it is intensely derogatory.”
Brown wrote that the issue was first raised last year by third-grade students during their study of Native Americans, and later when students in third and sixth grade discussed ethnically- or racially-derived sports team logos during the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. In the time since, the school community has studied the issue, eventually coming to the decision to ban clothing with the name and logo.
According to the Green Acres website, it was the first racially-integrated school in Montgomery County, Md., founded in 1934 “by parents who wanted to develop in their children a love of learning, a strong sense of intrinsic motivation, and a deep commitment to social justice.”
The school joins other districts who have changed school mascots from Redskins and other insensitive names; two years ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a ban on any school in the state using Redskin as a mascot or team name.