The freedom of students attending Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa., will hang in the balance on Tuesday evening, as Neshaminy School Board members vote to revise district policy to force student editors to publish content with a word that they have determined is racially offensive.
Student journalists of the Playwickian, the high school’s paper, published an editorial in October condemning the use of the school’s mascot name, the “Redskins.” Similar to the criticism faced by the “Washington Redskins” football team, the staff of the Playwickian criticized the school’s continued use of the word, which they find to be blatantly racist.
As an act of sensitivity and professionalism the staff voted to no longer use the “R-word” when publishing articles about the high school’s teams. A short time later, three professional publications in the area followed suit, also passing policy against using the term in video reports and articles about Neshaminy and the professional football team.
If they vote to force these students to run that name, the Neshaminy School Board will be fighting a losing battle. Surely, even people who are arguing in favor of racist sports team names have to know that they're fighting a losing battle. The only question these people have to face is: Will racist team names be abandoned in the next few years, or is the younger generation going to have to wait for you to grow old and die before they make things right? Because one way or another, it's going to happen. One day, these students will sit on the school board, and they'll make the right decision, and everyone will be horribly embarrassed for the people who fought so hard to keep a dumb, racist sports team name. It's only a matter of time.