Kansas Board Of Education Suggests Schools Remove Native American Themed Mascots

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The Kansas Board of Education recommended that Native American themed mascots be removed from schools, KMBC News reported Friday.

The board voted 9-1 Thursday in favor of a proposition encouraging Native American mascots to remove the imagery within the next three to five years, according to KMBC News. The motion comes after the Advisory Council for Indigenous Education, a group focused on improving Kansas education on Native Americans, urged the board to pressure schools to make the change.

“There are districts that aren’t having these conversations, or that are having a hard time with those discussions,” Board Member Melanie Haas said at the meeting according to KMBC News. “So when we take a leadership role at the state level and say this is something you should look at, I think that’s really important messaging that some of those districts need.”

Currently, more than 20 schools in the state have Native American imagery or mascots, according to the Kansas Reflector. In 2021, several schools dropped mascot names such as the Redmen, Braves and Redskins.

The mascot names, specifically the tomahawk chop, can be offensive in a competitive environment such as sporting events, Board Member Deena Horst said at the meeting, the Kansas Reflector reported.

“If I was a member of a tribe, and I was in a competitive environment, I would take that as making fun of me,” Horst said, according to the Kansas Reflector. “And bullying is another component. It’s a way to show that you can overtake someone else and that makes the person who actually is a Native American — if it makes them feel less of a person, it’s wrong.”

On Tuesday, Republican candidates won seats on the Kansas Board of Education, shifting the majority of the board 7-3. The newly elected members will take their seats in 2023.

The Kansas Board of Education did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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