OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board has voted unanimously to remove “Redskins” as the nickname for a high school after hearing pleas from students and teachers who found the term offensive, school officials said on Tuesday.
After 88 years, Capitol Hill High School will begin implementing its ban on the use of “Redskins” effective immediately.
The decision, made on Monday in a state with a large Native American population and where a few of its lawmakers have been embroiled in controversy for making what are seen as racially insensitive comments, was approved by an 8-0 vote.
“Oklahoma City Public Schools respects and honor the Native American community and students in our district, state and nation,” school spokeswoman Tierney Tinnin said.
The decision comes as school districts across the country debate dropping names adopted years ago and now seen as offensive, and as pressure mounts on the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name.
Students, faculty and community members will work to find a new name for Capitol Hill High School teams.
Oklahoma has the second-highest percentage of Native American residents in the United States, government data shows. Nearly 8 percent of Oklahomans claim Native American ancestry, and at Capitol Hill High School, approximately 2 percent of the students are Native American.
In neighboring Texas in January, the Houston Independent School District banned team names and mascots that depict Native American culture, responding to growing public sentiment that such race-based references are offensive.