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March 7, 2013

Cooperstown to retire Redskins

(Continued)

Scalici said his vote is rooted in that certainty and has been cast to represent the many who would hold on to what they believe to be an honorable nickname for the school.

Barbara Tongue, a Cooperstown native whose family name Averill dates back to the 1700s, said she went around various places in the community to get people to sign a petition against a name change. She said she was disappointed by the board’s decision, but felt her petition of more than 700 signatures was a success, given she had little time and that there is not much community activity in the village in the winter months.

Before the first public comment portion of the board meeting, Borgstrom said the pace at which the board addressed the name change has not been ideal.

“We learned the time to get the additional input was necessary,” he said.

According to school officials, the process began when students discussed their concerns with the nickname Redskins with administration and board members.

Officials then began the process of reviewing the potentially negative message associated with the term. The topic was publicly broached at the Jan. 16 board of education meeting.

Following that meeting Cooperstown Student Council members were asked to assist with gathering suggestions and feedback for potential alternatives to the nickname. Students in grades seven through 12 were given the opportunity to weigh in.

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