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Paw Paw schools formally chooses new nickname: "Red Wolves"

Paw Paw school district

After decades as the "Redskins,” Paw Paw schools will now be the Red Wolves.

On Monday, school board president Brent McNitt joined other school board members in voting unanimously to approve the new nickname and logo.

“Even if it is time to change, change is never easy,” says McNitt. “This is especially true when that change replaces a nearly 100 year history.”

Pressure has been growing on schools to stop using the name “redskins” because it’s considered a racial slur.    

Paw Paw schools decided in March to end the use of the name and Native American imagery. The district turned to a panel, including students, to choose its new nickname.

Paw Paw high school senior Connor Hinderach was a member of the panel that agreed on “Red Wolves.”  Speaking to the school board on Monday night, Hinderach talked about generations of his family who have been in Paw Paw for more than a hundred years.

“Now that the Redskins are gone, a new century can be written as Red Wolves,” says Hinderach. “And I believe this is a name that will last for generations to come.”

Four other Michigan schools still use the name.

Also on Monday, the owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins announced the franchise is changing its nickname as well.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.