When a high school newspaper at a suburban Philadelphia football powerhouse decided the word “Redskins” had no place in its pages, the paper’s student editors found themselves called to the principal’s office.
The dispute between Neshaminy High School’s paper, the Playwickian, and school administrators is a strange twist on the fight over what students can and can’t say: this time it’s the students urging restraint.
The Playwickian editors started getting heat from school officials after an Oct. 27 editorial that barred the use of the word “Redskins” — the nickname of the teams at Neshaminy, a school named for the creek where the Lenape Indians once lived.
“Detractors will argue that the word is used with all due respect. But the offensiveness of a word cannot be judged by its intended meaning, but by how it is received,” read the editorial backed by 14 of 21 staff members. (An equally well-written op-ed voiced the dissenting group’s opinion.)