BOSTON (AP) — A bill that would ban the use of Native American mascots in Massachusetts public schools is heading to a public hearing at the Statehouse.

The push comes after Tewksbury officials rebuffed efforts last year to change the name of their Redmen mascot.

Parents appealed to state lawmakers, arguing the mascots perpetuate stereotypes and harm Native Americans.

Opponents say mascots become part of a school's culture and aren't intended to be demeaning.

The bill to be heard Tuesday defines a Native American mascot as a "name, symbol, or image that depicts or refers to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom, or tradition that is used by a public school as a mascot, nickname, logo, letterhead, or team name."

The bill gives specific examples, including "Redskins," ''Savages," ''Indians," ''Chieftains," ''Braves" or "Redmen."

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