May 18, 2012 in City

Oregon bars Indians as mascots

Associated Press
 

SALEM – Eight Oregon high schools will have to retire their Native American mascots after the Board of Education voted Thursday to prohibit them, giving the state some of the nation’s toughest restrictions on Native American mascots, nicknames and logos.

The 5-1 vote followed months of passionate and emotional debate about tolerance and tradition.

The schools have five years to comply with the order or risk losing their state funding. Another seven high schools identified as the Warriors will be allowed to keep their nickname but will have to change mascots or graphics that depict Native Americans. An unknown number of elementary and middle schools also will be affected.

The ban doesn’t apply to colleges, but none in Oregon has Native American mascots after Southern Oregon University and Chemeketa Community College dropped them.

Since the 1970s, more than 600 high school and college teams across the country have done away with their Native American nicknames, including 20 in Oregon.

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