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Lancaster, New York school board candidate Kelly Hughes Depczynski agreed with a Facebook rant that said Native Americans should "go back to the reservation" if they're offended by the school's now-retired Native American mascot.

Lancaster School Board Candidate Agrees Indians Should 'Go Back to the Reservation'

Simon Moya-Smith
4/10/15

It’s only been three weeks since the Lancaster School Board in upstate New York voted unanimously to retire its Native American moniker and mascot – the ‘Redskins.'

But a week before the vote, a candidate for the same school board agreed that Native Americans should “go back to the reservation.”

On March 16, the Lancaster School Board held a special meeting where it announced the immediate retirement of the school’s mascot. The high school there has been mired in controversy every since two opposing schools refused to play Lancaster’s lacrosse team on account of its logo and moniker.

School board candidate Kelly Hughes Depczynski responded to a Facebook rant on March 9 where the writer, going only by the name of Lin, said Native American students who find the name offensive should, instead, get their education on the reservation rather than Lancaster.

“If this American Indian at Lancaster and his family are so ‘offended’ … maybe the school board can gently refer him to go back to the reservation for his education,” Lin wrote.

Lin also argued that Native Americans in Lancaster, New York who are offended by the school’s mascot shouldn’t have moved there to begin with.

“Maybe if ‘Redskins’ is too offensive they shouldn’t have moved to that district,” Lin wrote.

At the end of Lin’s rant, school board candidate Depczynski responded, “Thank you, Lin! My thoughts exactly!”

Depcyznski’s Facebook page is riddled with images of pro-Redskins banners and T-shirts. One shirt reads, “Change it Back!”

On Thursday, Depczynski wrote on her Facebook wall that on April 25 there will be a “family event” titled, “Once A Redskin Walk.” Pro-Redskins items will be on sale, she wrote. An hour later, Depczynski commented on her own post that “You can't have too much Redskin gear...no such thing!!!”

The Lancaster school board disagrees with Depczynski, arguing the mascot and name perpetuates a divide in the community.

“The mascot is recognized as a symbol of ethnic stereotyping, and as a school district, Lancaster cannot continue practices which are offensive and hurtful to others,” the school board posted on its website.

Last month, Depczynski appeared on Fox News Insider in defense of the school's mascot.

Tara Houska, an Ojibwe and tribal attorney based in Washington, D.C., sent ICTMN the screenshots of the rant as well as Depczynski’s response. Houska called Depcynski's comment "indicative of her fitness for office."

"Ms. Depczynski supports the removal of Native children from public schools to reservations; I wonder if the Native mascot she fights for will suffice as remembrance of actual Native peoples," Houska wrote in an email. "It is deeply disturbing that someone who would deny Native American students access to an education in Lancaster is running for an office responsible for shaping policies that affect young minds."

Lancaster residents will vote for school board candidates on May 19. 

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maxien's picture
maxien
Submitted by maxien on
sure we will if you whites get off our land..Is she really that stupid? The land she is on is the original home of natives..

maxien's picture
maxien
Submitted by maxien on
They all need education stupid women and anyone who agrees with her..Are very stupid...U cannot tell someone to go back to the rez if they are already from there, does she know that was the rez to a lot of Indians and that the whole damn USA was also until white people took over..read a book on history you dumb a** fool

Juliet A Valencia
Juliet A Valencia
Submitted by Juliet A Valencia on
I wonder how many people will fall for it, you know, go and BUY all the redskin stuff? She will end up getting all the credit for big sales and profits while talking about how stupid they all are and how clever she is, with her colleagues and I must say she's very slick. She should sell cars.

Perry A Munoz
Perry A Munoz
Submitted by Perry A Munoz on
She just proved to the country how ignorant people have become in the US. She says these things but then you can't post anything on her facebook page. If you think your thoughts and feelings are ok to say on tv, then have the guts to receive the backlash of your stupid comments. She's a Coward!

Valerie Goodness
Valerie Goodness
Submitted by Valerie Goodness on
Ms. Depcznski was also the one police had to protect a Native woman while carrying her infant, from. See the letter written to the school board asking that Depcynski be removed or have police do better protection from her aggression. http://nekanehsakt.tumblr.com/post/113369916650/letter-to-dr-vallely

Rebecca Padilla
Rebecca Padilla
Submitted by Rebecca Padilla on
Well, if she doesn't like that some people feel this term is racist, maybe she should go back to Europe and run for School Board there.

Alex Frazier
Alex Frazier
Submitted by Alex Frazier on
White people are always saying to people of color who complain about anything, America, love it or leave it. We're " ALL " just as American as they are, they don't like we say " THEY CAN LEAVE " !

Adrienne Wilson
Adrienne Wilson
Submitted by Adrienne Wilson on
Kelly and Lin the word Iroquois is a proper noun. The schooll mascot seems respectful of the name. Redskin is slang that is offensive. Perhaps some education, research in these words and terminology would help these two people understand what they are talking about.

pennyspage's picture
pennyspage
Submitted by pennyspage on
my advice to Ms. Depczynski is to shut up and get her education right as to where Native Americans belong...your on our land lady we are not on yours!! your actually a foreigner so go back to your country and get the hell out of ours! And no you and others do not have the right to use the name REDSKIN or to use the picture relating to our tribesmen. No one asked, it was done regardless to the wishes of the tribe it belongs to. why don't you call them THE WHITE SKINS AND PUT YOUR PICTURE ON THERE? Go home to your country Kelly where you belong.

Stephanie Simpson
Stephanie Simpson
Submitted by Stephanie Simpson on
She obviously has been raised by non-educated parents...or she is a non-educated woman...and whoever agrees with her is non-educated also! We have fought this kind of discrimination since forever and the best thing/defense that we have is to educate our children to not follow in her footsteps...to not hate a person solely on their background. This removal of ethnic stereotypes that un-educated people have used for decades offends us Native Americans and it needs to be stopped!! Our children are our future and we need to keep fighting this kind of injustice for them!!

Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
When someone is a fool & opens their mouth they remove all doubts as to what they are & stand for. When someone is blind in spirit & heart being filled with hate & evil you most generally cannot reason with them. To try & reason with a fool makes you more foolish; not to mention wastes your time. ......................................................................................................................... One thing is for certain is that this female has landed herself on the radar of every person who stands against injustice, bigotry & those filled with evil in their hearts. The Creator has a very special place prepared for such individuals. Justice & Karma isn't always as soon as we would like it to be, but it is guaranteed to be served at the time the Creator says is the right time. His time is ALWAYS right on time!

Mike Trimm
Submitted by Mike Trimm on
Maybe she should withdraw from the school board election because honestly if she doesn't understand why the term redskin is offensive obviously she needs to be educated!!! So Ms. Depczynski here it is. The term redskin comes from the scalp that was taken by US calvery and bounty hunters from murdered Native Americans to prove how many they killed so they could get payed the bounty on each one without having to carry a whole body as proof. Now wouldn't that offend anyone who's people have sufferd a genocide. Go back to the Rez? i say that you Ms. Depczynski go back to whatever European country your ancesters came from!!!

Valerie A Washington
Valerie A Washington
Submitted by Valerie A Washington on
if it weren't for native americans, the other people would not be around so i have learned in school. we can go anywhere, live anywhere and no one can say otherwise. well that is what i think anyway i tell my kids the same.

Grayhorse's picture
Grayhorse
Submitted by Grayhorse on
I think her and all the white people should go back to Europe. America belongs to the natives anyway. I can not believe these people.

rockymissouri's picture
rockymissouri
Submitted by rockymissouri on
She is a sad ignorant lady who should be embarrassed for knowing so little. Just another bigot.
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