Superintendent's Update: JJ Mascot

November 8, 2019

Dear KLSD Community,

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, our Board once again discussed the John Jay mascot (the Indians). You will recall that in September, while discussing its goals for the year, our Board expressed concern about the mascot and asked me to consider a process that could lead to a possible change. In October, I recommended to the Board that rather than a lengthy and potentially divisive process, this topic is better suited to a decision. I went on to give what I believe is the educational rationale for retiring the Indians mascot.

Last night, I told our Board that a mascot transition would not require any additional funding in next year’s budget. Any funds above and beyond what we typically spend on uniforms, maintenance of the gym floor, etc., would be found within existing budget and would not take away from any educational opportunities for our students.

Our Board unanimously accepted my recommendation last night, and, as a result, the decision to retire the Indians mascot has now been made. At our next meeting, on November 21, I hope to describe a process and a timeline by which a new mascot will be selected and the current mascot respectfully retired.

Both the Board and I are aware that this decision will please some in our community and upset others. Our intention is to create the opportunity for our students and community to be unified around a mascot that can inspire fun and school spirit for all. At the same time, we commit to strengthening the educational opportunities for our students that will help them understand and appreciate the history, the contributions, and the plight of Native Americans in our region and in our country.

Last night, I responded to some of the questions raised by those who hoped we would not change the mascot. To hear those questions and my responses, please watch the video of the meeting as soon as it is available on our website.

Once again, I encourage all in our community to be respectful of differing points of view.  


Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools