California bans public schools' use of Redskins as team name or mascot

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday a bill that will prohibit public schools from using Redskins as a team name or mascot, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

The law makes California the first state to ban the Redskins moniker. Currently, there are four high schools in the state that will have to make the change before 2017, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The most notable Redskins team is of course the NFL's Washington Redskins. The franchise has been steadfast in its refusal to change its name, with team president Bruce Allen saying in August that the team will not reconsider changing its name.

American Indian groups have protested the name's continued use amid their court fight with the NFL franchise. A federal panel ruled last year that the team's trademark should be canceled, but the team is challenging that decision in court. Washington owner Dan Snyder is facing unprecedented opposition from those who consider his team's name a racial slur.

Tulare Union High, which is south of Fresno, is one of the four California schools that possesses the nickname. Sarah Koligian, superintendent of Tulare Joint Union High School District, said officials were "disappointed" by Brown's decision but will change their team name.

"We will adhere to the law as it is written," Koligian said in a statement Monday. "Together with our Board of Trustees, school community and our Tulare community we will seek their input to determine our new mascot."

The Chowchilla Union High School District in the Central Valley will seek public comment on a new mascot. Its lone high school, with about 1,000 students, has used a Redskins mascot and logo since 1928 without complaints, Superintendent Ronald V. Seals said.

"You don't pick a mascot that you don't respect, dignify, love, honor, all those things," he said. "It's just taking away something that's so near and dear to their hearts ... and by people who don't even live here."

Recently, Republican presidential nominees Jeb Bush and Donald Trump have both said they support the continued use of Redskins as Washington's team name.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.