Activist to appeal use of Indian mascots to state school board

March 07, 2002|By Lane Harvey Brown | Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF

A Native American activist said yesterday that he would appeal to the state after the Harford County school board denied his appeal of a citizen group's decision to retain Indian mascots in three county schools.

Richard Regan, a Montgomery County resident, said he received written notification Tuesday of the county Board of Education's decision. Regan appeared before the Harford board in January to appeal the panel's decision last fall to keep Indian mascots at Havre de Grace's elementary, middle and high schools.

The school board ruled that Regan did not produce evidence that any children attending the schools had been harmed by the mascots' use.

"I'm disappointed but not surprised," Regan said. "Of all the counties I have dealt with, in Harford County, racism against American Indians is so deeply entrenched. ... I never felt the issue got a fair hearing."

The state school board adopted a resolution from the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs in July to stop the use of Native American mascots in public schools. It gives final say to local boards.

Regan said he submitted a written appeal to the state Board of Education. He said he has filed similar appeals over complaints about Montgomery and Frederick counties' use of such mascots.

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