Natick athletes will no longer be called the Redmen.
The School Committee voted 4-3 last night to end use of the controversial team name starting with the 2008-2009 school year, rejecting a proposal to put the issue before a committee of students and educators before making a final decision.
A debate that began with a single alumna's complaint and led the chief of the Natick Praying Indians to make an emotional plea to the School Committee ended at a public hearing just three months after it began.
School Committee member Dirk Coburn, who has said he thinks the team name is problematic, voted against dropping it last night. He said he would have preferred involving the community in the discussion.
"I wish we had done what we did another way," he said.
He is worried community animosity about the School Committee's decision could affect an expected Proposition 2 1/2 override vote to raise more money for the school system.
Now that the vote has been taken, he said he wants to "make sure that people who might wish that something had happened differently don't take that out on the children and teachers."
-- John C. Drake
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