Mascot Information



Wantagh UFSD Mascot Plan 6-15-23

Wantagh Board of Education Resolution on Mascot Regulation 6-15-23

NYSED Mascot Guidance Document 5-18-23

NYSED Approved Regulation and Comments 4-18-23

NYSED Proposed Regulation 12-1-22

Memo From NYSED Senior Deputy Commissioner James Baldwin 11-17-22

 Memo from Commissioner Mills 4-5-01



June 28, 2023

Dear Wantagh Community, 

As most of you are aware, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, the New York State enacted a new part 123 of the regulations regarding the prohibition of the use of indigenous names, mascots and logos by public schools. The regulation took effect on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. It states that, “no public school in the State of New York may utilize or display an Indigenous name, logo, or mascot other than for purposes of classroom instruction.” As a result of this new regulation, the Wantagh School District is one of the approximately 60 school districts in New York State that is impacted. The current nickname for our school is “Warriors” and the logo includes a representation of a Native American figure.

As a Board of Education, we understand that the current logo may be offensive to indigenous people and that a change needs to be made. We do not want to offend anyone with our logo and will have a process in place to have it updated. The district will be removing the indigenous logo and imagery over the next two years as required by the regulation. A committee of various stakeholders will be recommending new imagery to replace the indigenous imagery currently in place.

However, we believe that the district’s Warriors name is not in violation of the new regulation that was established by the Board of Regents and for the past several months the district has engaged in conversation with the State Education Department about this. At this time, the response from NYSED continues to be that if the Warriors name is a vestige of a Native American logo it can no longer be used. As a Board of Education, we continue to believe that we can successfully rebrand the Warriors name. A name that our community takes great pride in and at the same time, this will allow the district to mitigate some of the significant costs involved in this unfunded mandate. In addition, by strictly changing the imagery and not the name, there would be significant reduction in costs that the district would incur in facilities work and replacement of uniforms. 

During the past several months, in addition to discussions with the State Education Department, the Board of Education has consulted with legal counsel on multiple occasions. We have also consulted with other school districts that use the Warrior name. 

At the last Board of Education business meeting for the school year, the board passed a resolution regarding the mascot regulation. The resolution the board approved stated that the board will follow the mascot regulation. However, it also states that should the mascot regulation be repealed and/or determined to be unenforceable by the Commissioner of Education and/or any court of competent jurisdiction, the Board of Education will immediately reinstate the “Warrior” team name and authorize its usage in a manner unconnected with any indigenous imagery.  This effectively reserves the board’s right to pursue a legal challenge.

If conversations with the State Education Department continue to stall, the Board will need to make a determination as to the best way to proceed. As a result the Board of Education would like input from community members as to their thoughts on pursuing a potential legal challenge to this NYSED regulation. Fighting this issue with the state, however, may ultimately prove futile. NYSED has made it clear there are no longer any avenues for exceptions. The district must comply, or it must engage with the State in a potentially lengthy and expensive legal process. And while our consideration of partnering with other Long Island districts that find themselves in a similar situation might somewhat mitigate that expense, both our legal counsel and special outside counsel have indicated costs could run into the tens of thousands of dollars with a low chance for success.

We ask that you please complete this survey and provide your thoughts on the new mascot regulation and how you believe the Board of Education should proceed regarding any legal challenges. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Please know that this survey is not a referendum on this issue, but rather a way to inform the board of education's decision.




Laura Reich, Tara Cassidy, Adam Fisher, Anthony Greco and Jennifer Perfetti

Wantagh UFSD Board of Education



A Statement from the Wantagh School District Board of Education regarding NYSED Mascot Regulation, April 18, 2023:

The Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department approved a regulation today requiring New York State Schools with Native American mascots to begin the process of transitioning to a new mascot over the next two years. This new regulation requires our district to move away from the imagery currently being used. As a result, the district will begin a process to engage with all stakeholders to develop new imagery to represent our “Warrior” nickname. At this time, it is not the intent of the district to move away from the “Warrior” name, but to develop new imagery that will proudly represent our school community and honor our history. The process to develop new imagery will include community feedback through surveys and a committee largely led by our secondary students. 

Below you will find the documents released by the New York State Education Department on mascots:

NYSED Approved Regulation and Comments 4-18-23

NYSED Proposed Regulation 12-1-22

Memo From NYSED Senior Deputy Commissioner James Baldwin 11-17-22

 Memo from Commissioner Mills 4-5-01