Newington announced it was rebranding itself as the ‘Nor’Easters’ this week as the trend of Connecticut’s high schools dropping Native American mascots continued to sweep across the state.
Newington’s Board of Education on Monday approved a formal recommendation to drop the Indians mascot in favor of the new one, which was unveiled during a special board meeting on April 1.
The school was inspired to make the change last Fall, deeming the Indians mascot perpetuated inaccurate stereotypes of Native American culture that are considered offensive. Newington had been the Indians for at least half a century, but recently began moving away from using logos depicting Native American culture.
Newington joins a host of other schools that have remove ‘Indians’ as their mascots over the past year.
Newington’s renaming committee consulted with some of the most-recent schools to make the move: Farmington, which changed to River Hawks in March; Guilford, rebranded as the Grizzlies last Fall; and Watertown, which is in the process of determining a new mascot.
Glastonbury recently changed its mascot from ‘Tomahawks’ to ‘Guardians.’ Other schools, including North Haven (Indians), have also been considering mascot changes. Killingly in 2019 removed its ‘Redman’ mascot, only to have it reversed by the Board of Education in 2020 after recent elections changed the makeup of the board.
Newington’s renaming committee sought input from an array of experts and solicited ideas from the Newington community to find a unique nickname.
Nickname finalists included Defenders, Narwhals and Ravens before Newington chose Nor’Easters. The school will now create a committee in charge of designing the new logos and mascots.
Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Watertown had changed its mascot to ‘Warriors’, but no decision has been made on the final mascot. Also corrected, Glastonbury’s nickname is the Guardians.