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Redskins

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.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Paw Paw school district is dropping a controversial nickname.

The southwest Michigan district’s school board voted six to one this week to drop its “Redskins” nickname and mascot. 

The district has been under pressure for several years to make the change.  In 2017, the school board voted four to three to keep the controversial nickname.

Protesters holding signs in Paw Paw
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into a southwest Michigan school district.

Paw Paw Public Schools is no stranger to controversy. The district has been under fire for its mascot name and image – the Redskins – for years. Now, the district is facing a federal investigation after the ACLU of Michigan filed a complaint back in January.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is handling the investigation. A spokesperson for the OCR said in a statement that the office is investigating “possible discrimination on the basis of race.”

Protesters holding signs in Paw Paw
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

In a late night vote, the Paw Paw School Board voted to keep the Redskin name and image as its mascot.

Supporters for keeping the mascot say the name is not used in a derogatory way and is a respected identifier for the community.

Paw Paw High School sophomore Morgan Dwyer says changing the name is an issue being pushed by outsiders, who she likened to school bullies.

“Ever since you’re little your parents always tell you, don’t shape who you are to please other people and I mean, I don’t know, I just feel this whole ordeal is a bigger version of that,” she said.