Natick Public Schools have narrowly decided to stop using their mascot, the "Redmen," after the school committee ruled the name was racist.
The school committee voted 4-3 to stop using the name starting in the fall of 2008, and no new mascot name has been chosen.
Many longtime Natick residents were against the change, and pleaded with school officials to keep the name, during the
months of discussions that led up to the decision.
School Committee Chairman Henry Haugland, who voted in favor of the dropping the name, says that the people who came to the meeting were pretty evenly split among those in favor and those against.
Haugland says the name was originally coined by a Framingham sports writer in the late fifties, who was referencing the all red color of their uniforms. He says the name later evolved to reference Natick's Native American heritage.
Notable among those who wore the "Redmen" jersey is football great Doug Flutie, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy while at Boston College, and play for more than two decades in the NFL.
The New England Anti-Mascot Coalition, a group dedicated to changing the names of New England school mascots that are offensive to Native Americans says 46 Massachusetts high schools have mascots, names or logos with Native American themes.
This program aired on March 6, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.