Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Washington wants to bury Native American school mascots

by Matt Rosenberg October 12th, 2012

Washington State’s non-profit public affairs TV channel TVW this week aired a segment on the continuing push by the state board of education against Native American school mascots. The board at its September 25th meeting in Walla Walla passed a resolution urging public school districts in the state who have Native American mascots and logos to reconsider their use and retire them. The resolution states that such mascots and logos can cause psychological harm to Native American students and may prevent efforts to close the academic achievement gap. Oregon passed a law last year banning Native American mascots in public schools. But part of the story in Washington is the push back. More from TVW’s “The Impact,” and host Anita Kissee.

Washington passed a similar resolution in 1993 but dozens of districts still have Native American mascots. One is Port Townsend, where the school board has appointed a special committee to investigate the appropriateness of the high school’s “Redskins” mascot, with the board to decide later this school year on whether or not to keep it. The special committee is to be named at the board’s Monday October 15 board meeting. Meeting materials will be available here.

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