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Pennsylvania school district votes to reinstate Native American logo criticized as insensitive

GLEN ROCK, Pa. (AP) — A school board in southern Pennsylvania has voted to reinstate the district's old mascot logo portraying a Native American fighter, despite criticism that it's outdated and culturally insensitive.

The Southern York County School District voted 7-2 on Thursday to bring back the logo, which had been retired in April 2021 by a previous board that also chose to keep the name of the Susquehannock High School teams as the “Warriors.”

The vote followed a lengthy debate including a nearly two-hour public comment session and an hourlong presentation by the Native American Guardian's Association (NAGA), a nonprofit organization that lobbies against the removal of Native American mascots.

Several parents spoke against reinstating the logo, saying the board was lacking in humanity and should be focused on education. Some students also said the logo debate has heightened racial bullying.

Supporters of the logo cited the district's history and said many students and parents favor it but are afraid of being called racists.

The school board has five new members who were elected last November after running with the old mascot on their campaign materials, changing the majority stance on the logo issue.