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Idaho high school to change Redskins mascot after 90 years

July 18, 2019

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A high school near the Idaho-Wyoming state line will retire its Native American mascot after 90 years, a report said.

Teton School District in Idaho voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of renaming the Teton High School Redskins, The Idaho Statesman reported .

The vote stipulates taxpayer money would not be used for the $30,000 process to replace school uniforms and take down signage, Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme said.

The Shoshone-Bannock and the Nez Perce tribes have publicly referenced the word’s offensive dictionary definition and its use as a racial slur.

“We are very pleased that the school board listened to the tribes in removing the Redskins name,” tribal spokeswoman Randy’L Teton said.

School board member Ben Kearsley cast the only vote against the change.

“I do feel there’s a way to compromise,” Kearsley said. “But by moving too fast, we remove some of the voices we’ve heard and close the door on our community. We’ll leave voices behind, and that’s the greatest community cost.”

Driggs resident Adam Berry cautioned the board against rushing a vote.

“All of us agreed a vote tonight would be a disservice to this community,” Berry said. “It would only drive a deeper wedge in the valley.”

Others residents would like the conversations to end.

“I don’t know what more information there is to hear on this,” Peter McKellar said. “There have been years of conversation about this and years of research that has gone into this.”

Eleven other Idaho high schools have Native American mascots, officials said.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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