Equity & Diversity

Oregon Prohibits Native American Mascots in K-12

By Bryan Toporek — May 22, 2012 1 min read

Oregon’s state board of education voted 5-1 Thursday to ban K-12 public schools from using Native American mascots, giving any school affected by the new policy five years to make the change.

The new rule prohibits schools using any sort of reference to an American Indian Tribe (name, symbol, or image) as a mascot, team name, nickname, logo, or letterhead. Included in such prohibited names: “Savages,” “Indians,” “Chiefs,” “Braves,” and “Redskins.” The latter four are all currently in use by professional sports teams in baseball and football.

The only tangentially related name to be spared the ax was “Warriors,” so long as schools don’t use it in combination “with a symbol or image that depicts or refers to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom, or tradition,” according to the board’s website.

At least 15 schools in the state will be affected by the change, .

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.