BETHESDA, Md. -- In Bethesda, Green Acres Elementary School has decided to ban students and faculty from sporting Washington Redskins gear to class because they say the name and team logo is offensive.
Head of School, Neal M. Brown, says the decision ultimately stems from a discussion that one of his third-grade classes was having last year.
“It’s not about the team, it’s about the logo and the name, and I feel like those two things are really at odds with our mission.”, said Brown, defending the decision.
He said, “The name of our team is a racial slur. People who support the team, myself included, don’t intend to be demeaning, but the term is deeply upsetting.”
Brown says the idea of the ban came after an entire third grade class voted that the Redskins should change their name, following a class discussion on Native Americans.
However, not everyone is in agreement with the school’s stance the school has taken.
“It’s not a good idea, you know, children have the right to wear whatever they want.”, said Evans Musonda.
Alex Cohen said, “I understand that there’s a problem with the name. I think that’s the wrong way to go about it though, is to ban the free speech aspect of it.”
While Brown says Green Acres Prides itself on allowing students to express themselves, he says banning the redskins name and logo from the school carries a deeper lesson.
“To me, the desire not to be offensive, to be respectful, to teach kids that that’s really an important value and even if you’re unintentionally doing it, it’s the impact of your actions that really matters.”, he said.