Osten, a Democrat, estimated that a dozen Connecticut high schools “still cling to offensive Native American names and images such as Redmen, Red Raiders, Indians, Warriors, Chiefs, Chieftains, and other such names.”
“Some towns have taken the proper steps to change, while others continue to ignore common decency and continue to disrespect our tribal partners who were here long, long before any city or town was ever incorporated,” Osten said in the release.
Republicans ran for the board in November 2019, on a platform of bringing the “Redmen” mascot back.
CNN reached out to Killingly Public Schools for comment.
“If certain cities and towns won’t listen to their fellow citizens, then they can certainly do without the tribal money that they are showing such disrespect toward,” she said in the release.
Republican leaders in the state Senate expressed their annoyance that the mascot provision and other measures were included in the implementer bill and that they only had a few hours to review the huge document before Tuesday’s vote.
“I would think that would be better as a subject for a separate bill because you want all parties at the table, all interests. I think there are some probable interests that would like to have their voices heard,” State Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly told reporters on Tuesday.
When asked if the Native American nickname provision was a surprise he said, “that was the first I’d heard of it.”
Under the provision, the towns would have two years to either change their names or mascots or get permission to use them from a federally recognized tribe in their area.