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Kelly Hughes Depczynski, who was elected as a Lancaster School Board member Tuesday, 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.

Woman Who Agreed Native Americans Should 'Go Back to the Reservation' Elected to School Board

Simon Moya-Smith
5/20/15

A woman who agreed Native Americans should “go back to the reservation” was elected as a school board member Tuesday, officials said.

Kelly Hughes Depczynski was elected to the Lancaster Central School Board in upstate New York on May 19 several months after she prompted controversy on social media with her comments about Native Americans.

In early March, Depczynski responded to a Facebook rant where the writer, going only as "Lin," said Native American students who find the Lancaster ‘Redskins’ mascot offensive should, instead, get their education on the reservation rather than Lancaster.

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“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.

At the end of the rant, Depczynski responded, “Thank you, Lin! My thoughts exactly!”

On March 16, the Lancaster School Board held a special meeting where it announced the immediate retirement of the school’s mascot, arguing it perpetuated a divide in the community.

Before the mascot was dropped, the high school had been mired in controversy after two opposing schools refused to play Lancaster’s lacrosse team on account of its logo and moniker.

Depczynski, who is known as a vocal proponent of the team name, was accused of running on a platform solely to reinstate the mascot, which she denies. Depczynski argues her platform was about more transparency into Lancaster’s political process.

Tara Houska, an Ojibwe and tribal attorney based in Washington, D.C. who first discovered the correspondence between Lin and Depczynski, told ICTMN the recent election in Lancaster is indicative of the community's sentiment there.

“While Lancaster students are actively engaged in choosing a new mascot, the Lancaster community elected a candidate who supports sending offended Native American students ‘back to the reservation,’” Houska wrote in an email.

“To the Native Americans who spoke out, to the nearby Native American lacrosse teams that refused to play Lancaster until the name was changed, to the students who deserve equal access to an education, the election speaks volumes about the majority’s values,” Houska wrote.

Watch Depczynski defend the now-retired name of the Lancaster School District on Fox News Insider here.

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monkette's picture
monkette
Submitted by monkette on
What an ugly racist. She should go back to her farm and get milked.

Robin Keener
Robin Keener
Submitted by Robin Keener on
lady you need to refresh your memory on the native american. when columbus landed on plymouth rock the native american celarated our first thanksgiving, they taught us how to plant crops and build homes. what did we do for them? we stole their land, gave them chickin pox infested blankets which wiped out whole tribes. i think you better research and see who the hell belongs on reservations. it sure isn't the native american.

Robin Keener
Robin Keener
Submitted by Robin Keener on
lady you need to refresh your memory on the native american. when columbus landed on plymouth rock the native american celarated our first thanksgiving, they taught us how to plant crops and build homes. what did we do for them? we stole their land, gave them chickin pox infested blankets which wiped out whole tribes. i think you better research and see who the hell belongs on reservations. it sure isn't the native american.

kabawamoot's picture
kabawamoot
Submitted by kabawamoot on
I have an idea, natives can go back to the rez as soon as the immigrants go back to their own country. And NO North America isn't your country, I can trace my roots as far back as records shows, all my relations are from here, they don't say I was born here but my great,great,great grandparents came over on a boat. people like her and her ancestors stripped the land from the people that lived here long before you came here. Go back to the country your ancestors came from and us natives will reclaim our land. The ignorance of people never ceases to amaze me. translation for Juliet: " waaah! why don't you just go back to your own country that your relatives come from"

Founder of EXPAND YOUR VISION INC's picture
Founder of EXPA...
Submitted by Founder of EXPA... on
In regard to MS Depczynski's interview on Fox, I feel the need to address several issues in order place greater understanding within the non-Native American members of our communities pertaining to actions that are offensive to the Indigenous People of this nation: 1-Refering to a Native American as a "Redskin" is the same as calling a white person a "honkey" or "cracker", or calling a black person the "N" word. 2-The use of Eagle Feathers within an insignia, such as a sports team logo, is also offensive as the Eagle is an extremely Holy and Sacred symbol of the strength and power of The Great Spirit. It is on the same level of religious importance as the Crucifix. 3-You stated that the schools' mascot, the redskins, had been a tradition for 70 or so years. The Eagle Feather, The Bear, The Buffalo and certain geometric shapes such as the circle have been important, Sacred and honored "traditions" since the dawn of time for Native Americans. 4-You stated that the children who attend the school should have a say-so in the matter of retaining the current mascot or electing an alternative replacement. For centuries the Native American members of this nation, when they were of school-age, had no say-so in regard to keeping their own PERSONAL names, traditions, hair length, manner of dress, or the ability to speak their own languages. 5-In reference to the Facebook conversation that you had with "Lin", might I "gently refer" the both of you to remember that all of the land contained within the borders of this nation were in the possession of these Indigenous People...hence the term NATIVE American. If you happen to be a member of the prevailing race (white) that DOES NOT entitle you to the power and authority in which to trample on someone's Indigenous Rights. May I "gently refer" the two of you to read a copy of The United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples.

Grayhorse's picture
Grayhorse
Submitted by Grayhorse on
She needs to go to another Country and live! People like that make me sick. She is an ugly racist.

bubb's picture
bubb
Submitted by bubb on
This mascot is just plain offensive, think how it could make some native kids feel?
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