There have been so many changes to Western New York school districts over the last few weeks, and on Wednesday night, another school made an abrupt, unexpected change. 

The New York State Department of Education officially banned Native American nicknames or terms from being used as mascots in 2023. This decision officially ruled that “public school districts will no longer be allowed to use nicknames tied to Native American culture,” according to

It was a unanimous decision during a state Board of Regents meeting in Albany, forcing schools in New York state to eliminate those nicknames 

According to the report, “All school districts were ordered to stop using Native American-themed mascots, nicknames, and logos” or they will face severe penalties, including “the removal of school officers and the withholding of State Aid.”

That’s why many Western New York schools have changed their mascots, including one new school that seemingly did so without many people being aware of the change. Voting began last Friday, but due to the quick turnaround, many people did not even get a chance to vote on the name change. 

As of this week, Cheektowaga Central School District has officially changed their name to the Cheektowaga Chargers. They will no longer be known as their previous mascot name “the Warriors.”

Many people, including former alumni from that school district, were angry that the decision seemingly came out of nowhere. 

If they were bothered so much they could’ve literally just changed the mascot and the logo. Now they gotta go with a complete overhaul and destroy a timeless tradition.”

Cheektowaga is the latest school to change their mascot. Before that change, we found out that Tonawanda City Schools changed their mascot to The Timberwolves

But they weren’t the only ones to change their mascots. Iroquois Central School District recently changed their mascot to The Redhawks

One school district, Salamanca City Central School District, refused to change their mascot from “The Warriors.” The school district shared a statement in May 2023, stating that their mascot “values our relationship with the Seneca Nation of Indians.” They were one of the few districts that received direct approval from the Seneca Nations to keep their mascot as is.   

In the next few weeks, you may see even more schools change their mascots for this reason. 

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