After Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians announced it would be dropping its team name “Indians” after 105 years, its anticipated other sports teams and schools may follow.
No decision is expected from the USD 383 Manhattan/Ogden School Board at this week’s meeting, but that doesn’t mean a change couldn’t happen at some point. Board president Karla Hagemeister tells KMAN, in an email, the school board has a lot on its plate at the moment, most importantly, “trying to provide as much in person learning as we possibly can while keeping our students and staff safe and healthy.”
In July, the school board gave consensus 4-3 to revisit the mascot discussion after the Washington NFL team announced it would retire the use of the term “Redskins” amid growing pressure from Native American groups and others protesting the use of Native American imagery as mascots.
Hagemeister says the board can and will ask Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade to come up with a recommendation at some point, but it is not anticipated in the near future. When that will happen is unclear.
The board has revisited the Indian name and symbol many times in the past. In December 2016 the board settled on enhancing Native American curriculum and cultural respect while maintaining the Indian name and symbol.
In 2017, students were allowed to pick an alternate symbol, a wolf, to serve as the school’s on field mascot, though it has not been implemented at any school events.
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