At the end of 2022, New York State's Department of Education sent out a memo to all the school districts across the state.

The department wanted school districts that still used Native America names and/or imagery for their mascots to come up with new non-offensive ones or face losing state aid.

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One school district in Western New York took the memo to heart and announced that they dropping the nickname "Red Raiders" and going back to one of their old nicknames.

The Jamestown School District announced this week that they will revert back to the name "Big Red Cats" for the High School. The school first used "Big Red Cat" as a mascot back in the 1940s.

The move comes two after the board of education voted to keep the nickname "Red Raiders" in 2021. The Jamestown High School had used the Native American moniker since the 1970s.

Back in November of 2022, the State Department of Education sent out a memo stressing the school districts in the state needed to change  Native American mascots or names or lose state funding.
In the memo, the New York State Department of Education wants all Native American mascot usage by the end of the 2022-23 school season.

SED has consistently opposed the use of Native American mascots. In 2001, former Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills issued a memorandum “conclud[ing] that the use of Native American symbols or depictions as mascots can become a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community and improving academic achievement for all students.”

Jamestown will look to replace all usage of the old mascot and name within the next two years.

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