Mural of Native American chief being painted next to Massapequa High School despite state ban

A new mural of a Native American chief is being painted off school property next to Massapequa High School.

Caroline Flynn

May 25, 2023, 9:35 AM

Updated 332 days ago

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Students were working Thursday on the mural that will say Massapequa Chiefs and feature a mascot in a feathered headdress.
The mural comes after the Board of Regents banned Native American mascots, team names and logos from public schools. The ban does not immediately go into effect.
Districts have a few years to make physical changes. By the end of next month, schools need to pass a resolution that outlines their commitment or risk state funding.
The Massapequa School District said it will fight the Board of Regents decision.
Many members of the community told News 12 that they stand behind the district in that decision.
"I don't see the people that are so against it. And I don't see that it's hurting anyone, and I think that it's erasing Native American heritage of Long Island that we are very proud of," says Tom Murphy, of Massapequa.
Some residents, however, said that if it is disrespectful to Native Americans then it should be taken down.
The district is seemingly in support of the mural and features a rendering of the finished piece on its website.
News 12 could not reach the owner of the building where the mural is located, but the district said the mural is a long tradition that students design and paint themselves. The winning design was chosen from a number of finalists and voted on by high school students.


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