Mural of Native American chief mascot going up near Massapequa High School despite state ban

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Mural of Native American chief mascot going up despite state ban
A mural of a Native American chief is being painted near Massapequa High School even though the state has moved to ban the use of such imagery. Stacey Sager has the story.

MASSAPEQUA, Nassau County (WABC) -- A student-designed mural is being painted near Massapequa High School of a Native American chief, the school's mascot, despite the state moving to ban the use of such imagery.

In April, New York's Board of Regents voted unanimously to ban indigenous names, mascots, and imagery from all our public schools by the end of the 2024-2025 school year.

But on Thursday at Massapequa High School, students were out during school time painting anyway, and just like the colors and textures they put onto the wall, the conversation ran the spectrum.

"I honestly feel that we are honoring the chiefs. I don't know, for like being racist or anything because this has been, Chiefs has been in Massapequa, the high school, for years," Junior Savanna Bressingham said.

"I think the school has to follow what the state does. We're a public school and I don't think we should be threatening our funding for our mascot," Senior Emily Molloy said.

The District said the mural is actually not on school grounds, it's on the side of the building housing Bagel Boss, next door.

They also said this is a tradition that has continued in this community for decades, one worth fighting for.

"Nobody likes to lose money, but nobody likes to get bullied around either," Bagel Boss owner Jeff Grossfeld said.

In a statement, the district added that this particular mural was part of a school contest.

"The student body then votes for the winning design," they said and, "we are pleased to share this year's winning design and to continue showcasing the artistic expressions of our students."


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