Sidwell Friends School Bans Redskins Apparel - NBC4 Washington

Sidwell Friends School Bans Redskins Apparel

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    Students at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Northwest D.C. will have to leave Washington Redskins merchandise at home starting this fall.

    Members of student government voted to ban Redskins apparel and administrators backed their decision, the school said in a statement released Friday.

    "The dress code states that 'children may not wear clothing with messages or images on clothing that conflict with the school’s values.' Thus, we have reached the consensus that Washington Football Team apparel ... is in direct violation of our dress code, and should be enforced like any other violation," the student government said in a proposal first published by Washingtonian.

    The football team's name is widely considered an offensive term for Native Americans. The team has long refused to change the name, arguing that many people, including Native Americans, do not find it problematic.

    Sidwell Friends administrators said they respected the students' decision.

    "The Sidwell Friends Student Government Charter encourages the expression of student opinions and concerns to the school administration," the statement from the school said. "The school administration accepted the proposal in a show of support for student voice and unity on the issue."

    The student government said in their resolution that they were inspired by a visit to the school by Native American activist and author Gyasi Ross.

    "No matter our intent in wearing Washington Football Team apparel, as Gyasi Ross told us, its impact perpetuates stereotypes and takes the voice away from Native Americans in our society," the students said.