JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Jamestown Public Schools has been ordered to change the district’s “Red Raider” nickname or risk losing financial aid from New York State.
The district’s Public Relations Department told WNY News Now the school’s administration recently attended a virtual meeting with the New York State Department of Education to discuss questionable nicknames and mascots.
During the meeting, state education officials told districts the “raiders” branding could no longer be used in New York, and that, schools who do not comply won’t receive state funding.
Jamestown Public Schools has two years to remove the branding, which includes replacing school uniforms, re-painting walls, replacing flooring and turf.
So far, the state has not offered funding to assist so school leaders say local taxpayers will likely foot the bill.
Last year the School Board of Education approved a new mascot design replacing the “J with feathers” imagery with a big red cat; however, at the time, the board voted to keep the “Red Raider” name.