Manhasset Indians no more: How Manhasset is choosing a new mascot

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Manhasset Indians no more: How Manhasset is choosing a new mascot

By Eliana Linder

After years of debate over the infamous Indian mascot, which represented Manhasset High School since its founding in 1920, the New York State Education Department officially prohibited using indigenous team names, mascots, and logos by public schools on May 3rd, 2023 under Part 123 of the Commissioner's Regulation.

New York State has given all public schools until the end of the 2024-2025 school year to implement this change. Failure to comply with this new rule will lead to a withholding of state funding and removal of school officers. 

But how will Manhasset Secondary School begin this long and arduous process of removing a source of pride that has survived the test of time and implementing a new team name? Simple… ask the people.

After the Manhasset Board of Education approved a resolution to adopt the new rule, they hoped to create an inherently democratic process of selecting the school’s new team name. To begin, a committee was created, composed of 30 parents, students, alumni, community members, and staff.

These volunteers were tasked with reviewing the suggestions, gathered via a community survey, to identify potential names that “align with our District’s values, mission, and vision,” says Superintendent Dr. Gaurav Passi. 

During the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year the committee thoroughly sifted through the options, choosing candidates who represent Manhasset at its core.

In early February, a survey was sent out to all Manhasset Secondary School students in grades 7-12 requesting that each student rank their favorite 3 out of 8 choices. With these results, the committee then identified the most favored 3 options listed in alphabetical order. 

  • Eagles: typically seen as a symbol of strength, courage and freedom. Not only would it represent Manhasset but it also represents America. It should be noted that even if the eagle option is chosen the feather on the Manhasset M logo will still have to be removed. 
  • Manhasset or “SET”: this option would forgo the choosing of a new team name and continue to use the near and dear nickname of “SET.” 
  • Mavericks are typically untamed horses or cattle that do not conform to society. 

Now the decision goes back to the people of Manhasset.

From Monday, April 15 to Sunday, April 21 there will be an opportunity to help choose a new mascot. Parents, students in grades 7-12, residents and staff members all have the opportunity to speak their voices and determine what will be the new team name of Manhasset.

There is no doubt that Manhasset Secondary School has faced change and challenges this year, yet we continue to fight embodying the Manhasset spirit.

Mr. Roder, Manhasset Secondary School’s newest principal, has used the phrase “Onward!” this year, perfectly encapsulating the Manhasset spirit and the resilience that we as a community hold. 

Although our mascot may be changing, the spirit of our schools continues to thrive more than ever, proving the resilience of our community.

After all, the Indians never defined Manhasset as a whole, it's the people within that give Manhasset life and vibrance, living up to our standards of excellence. Have your voice heard and visit www.manhassetschools.org to vote, from April 15 to April 21!

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