School Mascot Resources
- Sec. 63. Section 3-55j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
(l) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) to (k), inclusive, of this section, and section 3-55i, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, and each fiscal year thereafter, no municipality shall be paid a grant from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund established pursuant to section 3-55i, if a school under the jurisdiction of the board of education for such municipality, or an intramural or interscholastic athletic team associated with such school, uses any name, symbol or image that depicts, refers to or is associated with a state or federally recognized Native American tribe or a Native American individual, custom or tradition, as a mascot, nickname, logo or team name.
(2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply (A) to a municipality in which a school under the jurisdiction of the board of education for such municipality or an intramural or interscholastic athletic team associated with such school uses a name, symbol or image (i) depicting or referring to a state or federally recognized Native American tribe with the written consent of such tribe, or (ii) associated with a Native American individual, custom or tradition with the written consent of a state or federally recognized Native American tribe (I) located in or associated with the geographic region in which such school is located, or (II) historically associated with such school or intramural or interscholastic athletic team, and (B) until the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024, to a municipality that timely notifies the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, in a form and manner prescribed by the secretary, (i) that a school under the jurisdiction of the board of education for such municipality or an intramural or interscholastic athletic team associated with such school uses a name, symbol or image that would disqualify such municipality from receiving a grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, (ii) that such school or team intends to change such name, symbol or image or obtain written consent, and (iii) of the reason that such school or team has not yet changed such name, symbol or image or obtained written consent. For the purposes of this subdivision, written consent shall be demonstrated in a form and manner prescribed by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, and shall include, but not be limited to, a tribal council resolution, agreement between a tribal government and municipality or statement of consent endorsed by a tribal government.
Copy of letters received from Tribal Nations:
All school-sanctioned and school-funded mascots, symbols, images, and nicknames shall respect and be sensitive to diverse cultural values and the importance of inclusion.
Therefore, the use of mascots, symbols, images, or nicknames that are directly related to or commonly associated with any particular race or ethnicity is prohibited.
Acknowledging the long-standing tradition that has developed around the use of the names “Chieftain” and “Warrior,” the terms “Chieftain” and “Warrior” are expressly exempted from this prohibition.
The prohibition shall apply, however, to mascots, symbols, and images used in connection with the names “Chieftain” and “Warrior.” It shall also apply to ALL other names or nicknames, including but not limited to school-sanctioned clubs, organizations, or activities.
The use of such mascots, symbols, images, or nicknames by independent, non-school-sanctioned clubs and organizations is strongly discouraged.
The Superintendent of Schools will develop and ensure the teaching of a curriculum that enhances understanding of Native American cultures.
Adopted: March 25, 2015
Mission of the WHPS
To inspire and prepare all students to realize their potential and enhance our global community.
Equity and Anti-Racism Vision
We, the members of the WHPS, dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of equity. Equitable schools are those that value and honor ALL in our community as unique individuals capable of maximizing their true potential. We make a solemn promise to identify and dismantle all elements of systemic racism and historical inequities. We vow to clear paths, with a relentless duty to those in traditionally marginalized groups. We pledge to partner with ALL families in the service of the success of each child. -- Adopted 2020
Every student in the West Hartford Public Schools (WHPS) has the right to access opportunities and educational programs or activities that cultivate their unique gifts, talents, and interests, regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, alienage, ancestry, disability, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by State or Federal law. Every student has the right to an authentic feeling of belonging and safety. We acknowledge that current and historical systems of racism, privilege, and oppression impede student progress. Therefore, it is our moral imperative and statutory charge to identify and eliminate barriers and inequitable practices that perpetuate disparities across student groups. As an anti-racist organization, it is our collective responsibility to ensure full, safe, and equitable participation for all students, in every area of our educational programs. As a Board of Education, we have a statutory duty to implement the State’s educational interest, which includes the duty to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation of our students. We strive to reach these goals in the following ways:
Budget and Resource Allocation
WHPS will strive to allocate resources and funds to meet the needs of all students, while directly targeting interventions and supports that address identified inequities and help maintain school cultures that support our mission to enhance our global community.
Recruitment and Retention
WHPS will utilize innovative approaches and strive to recruit and retain high qualified, certified staff across all areas and leadership levels who reflect the diversity of our community and share our commitment to antiracism and antibias. Deliberate investment strategies will be vital to recruit, support, and retain educators and support staff, especially those from underrepresented racial, ethnic, gender, and linguistic backgrounds.
High-Quality Curriculum, Instruction, and Opportunities
Academics, Co-Curricular, and Extracurricular/Enrichment
WHPS will commission resources to ensure the narratives, lived experiences, and perspectives of students from a wide variety of backgrounds are reflected in the curriculum and provide an authentic voice to reflect diversity and inclusion. In order for under-represented students to access the full curriculum, including in the areas of arts and computer science education, students must see the value of these fields of study as central to society. Special care will be taken to ensure that students have ongoing opportunities to see their identities represented positively in the curriculum. Curriculum review teams will include educators from historically or traditionally marginalized groups.
WHPS will design professional learning, training, and support to foster understanding of human biases, as well as the historical and systemic root causes of inequity, and offer research-based means of intentionally countering trends of predictable disparity and disproportionality.
Family and Community Partnership
WHPS will create and maintain ongoing opportunities for communication among parent/ caregiver, school, and community partnerships that honor and celebrate the strengths and assets of diverse identities and experiences to support student wellness and success. A balanced representation of home/school partnerships will help inform, identify, and address challenges encountered.
WHPS will strive to ensure that students, staff, and families are valued, respected, and heard. We recognize the ongoing need for antibias education to support the healthy development of each of our students. Discrimination, bias, or harassment toward any individual or group will not be tolerated, and we commit to our work in this area. We will encourage all members of the school community to develop a feeling of individual ownership of this responsibility to ensure safe and nurturing learning environments.
Structures, Systems, and Data Analysis
WHPS, through a process of continuous quality improvement, will delineate structures, accountability systems, and metrics that enable the identification and analysis of inequities in access, opportunities, and outcomes for all students, and in particular those groups that have been traditionally and historically marginalized. WHPS will collect data using equity-conscious measures to support clear reporting on goals and outcomes.
Adopted: June 1, 2021