Lake George: Mascot poll, vote by May 30

Chronicle Summer Staffer Hannah Hughes writes: The Lake George community will have until May 30 to vote on a new school mascot and nickname via a poll on the district’s website, school officials said at a forum on Tuesday night.

Only recently did New York State rule that Lake George and other schools with “Warrior” mascots must change.

The state considers the Warrior a “vestige” of Indigenous culture, said Lake George officials — so it is prohibited by the same ruling that required other districts to retire their Native American mascots and imagery.

A committee of students and staff established by the district is set to review then announce the voting results on June 5. The new mascot and nickname are to be announced on September 1.

Although the state already made its ruling, some at Tuesday’s forum who identified themselves as alumni still argued that “Warriors” does not inherently have a negative connotation or direct association with Native American imagery.

Mike Gates, a graduate of the class of ‘86 said, “The warrior name is a mindset. It’s not a nickname, it’s not imagery, it’s who we are.” Another called the term “aspirational and inspirational.”

A student on the committee answered, “For me, it’s not the name ‘Warriors’ that makes us warriors. It’s the students that are being that, per se, ‘warrior kind of person.’ The fighting spirit does not come from the name.”

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