The Portland Oregonian reports that the Oregon State Board of Education has enacted a new rule that may be the toughest in the nation to end the use of American Indian themed school mascots. At least 15 Oregon schools will have to get rid of their Native American-themed mascots by 2017 or risk losing state funding.
The new policy passed by a 5-1 vote Thursday afternoon.
"I'm overwhelmed, but I'm holding back on my emotions — I have a meeting to finish," said board Chairwoman Brenda Frank, a citizen of the Klamath Tribes. "It's been a long time coming."
The decision, in the works for six years, requires schools to eliminate names like "Indians," "Chiefs" and "Braves." "Warriors" may stay, but the logos may not reference tribal customs or traditions.
Supporters of mascot bans have long held that the names are racist and encourage students to develop stereotypes. Opponents say a ban will destroy traditions and waste money on purging the mascots from schools in times of tight budgets.