Change to District Mascot
This past fall the New York State Education Department mandated, school districts with a name, mascot or logo that may be offensive to Native Americans should make changes by the summer of 2023. School districts were given an option; contact a locally recognized Native American Tribe and begin an open and honest dialogue regarding how Native American Tribes perceive the use of certain names or depictions. People within the district, me included, spoke to representatives of a tribe here on Long Island and it has been established that although they understand the name “Indians” was never meant to disparage or dishonor Native Americans, it nevertheless is seen as offensive and demeaning to many Native American Tribes across this great nation. The school district must now embark on securing a new name and logo for the next school year out of respect for their feelings. Consider this letter a step towards finding a new name!
Generations of Brentwood alumni graduated under the banner “Brentwood Indians.” Hundreds of thousands of Brentwood students have walked across the Brentwood Indian Logo etched into the terrazzo floors in many of our school lobbies. Tens of thousands of students have participated in interscholastic sports as proud Brentwood Indians. We have scores of County, Long Island and State Championship banners, from virtually every sport, hanging on the walls of our gymnasiums. We have proud alumni involved in every aspect of society and living in every corner of the world. There are countless stories of people wearing a Brentwood Indian jersey, hat or shirt walking in a foreign country and having a person smile and wave and say, “I graduated from Brentwood or I worked in Brentwood!” It is awesome to think millions of people have donned some type of apparel with the Brentwood Indian logo!
But that is the point, what binds the past to the present and ties the present to the future is not the word Indian, it is not a feather, nor is it a picture on a gym floor it’s that we are … Brentwood! We are Brentwood Proud; we are Brentwood Strong but most importantly we are Brentwood. Most recently our boys Varsity Basketball team made it all the way to the State Championship round. Our fans proudly and I must say loudly screamed “B-wood” every chance they had. “B-wood” will always be proclaimed loudly whenever and wherever we compete because we love our town and value our school spirit.
With our history forever etched in Long Island and New York State we must now, as a community, choose a new name. We won’t change our school colors. They will always and forever be Green and White! Over the next few months, we will endeavor to engage students, parents, families, alumni and staff in selecting a new name and logo! This can be an exciting time for Brentwood and the Board of Education, and I will be as transparent as possible and involve everyone in the school community.
Below is a link to a form that will allow you to submit your idea for a new Brentwood Logo. Copy and Paste the link into your browser and fill out the form and submit it. In addition to stating the new name, we would like you to write a brief description of why you believe it to be the best choice. If possible, please upload a picture of the logo you envision! All submissions should be received by April 25, 2023.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
There have been many questions regarding the district's obligation to change the name of the district's mascot as well as the logo. Attached you will find a Frequently Asked Questions section from the Commissioner of Education which sheds light on why and how the district must proceed.
Since the deadline for changing the name has been moved from July 1st of this school year to the end of the 2024/2025 school year the district has decided to not rush into changing the name. The intention of the district is to meet with various stake holders next year and devise a plan to select a name and logo sometime in the 2023/2024 school year. This will give the district and community plenty of time to transition from Brentwood Indians to the new mascot name and logo.
Information regarding next steps will be given to the school community and Brentwood community early next school year.