CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, Ohio — Cuyahoga Heights leaders have decided it's time for a change.
At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the village's Board of Education voted to retire the school district's controversial "Redskins" nicknamed used for all sports teams since the 1940s. The final tally was unanimous at 5-0, with the decision following discussion from residents on both sides of the issue.
According to the resolution, the name will be removed immediately and "forever," and the well-known Native American head logo will also no longer be featured on any school property "except for those images that are included in the historical timeline/publications and alumni archive room." In addition, the board will work to find "an inclusive and non-controversial nickname and imagery."
Pressure has been building on sports teams and programs across the country to consider doing away with their Native American-themed nicknames, with the Cleveland Indians set to change to "Guardians" next year and Washington, D.C.'s NFL team already scrapping its own "Redskins" moniker. 78 Ohio school districts still sport similar identities, including 10 named "Redskins."
The resolution passed in Cuyahoga Heights said the community initially intended for the name to "honor the strength, courage, and pride of Native Americans." However, "it is now widely recognized that the term Redskin is a pejorative slur that may be considered disrespectful to Native people."
For now, Cuyahoga Heights athletics will go without any nickname, and the change will take effect in time for this Friday's high school football home game against Sheffield Brookside. The board did not give a specific timeline as to when a new name could be chosen.