Schools Urged to End Native-American Themes

The Kansas State Board of Education is asking public schools to end the practice of associating Native-American themes with school identities and sports teams.

The board has accepted the Kansas Advisory Council for Indigenous Education Working Group’s mascot reform statement and recommendations.

A motion, in part, read: “The Board makes a strong recommendation to Kansas K-12 nontribal schools to adopt the actions recommended in the statement and retire Indian-themed mascots and branding as soon as possible, but no longer than within the next three to five years.”

In a “strong recommendation”  board members are asking public K through 12 schools to retire Native American-themed mascots and branding within the next three to five years.

Officials say the recommendation jibes with the board’s policies on discouraging bullying and encouraging equity, inclusion and justice for all students.

Dr. Alex Redcorn, an assistant professor at Kansas State University, answered questions before the State Board acted on the statement and recommendations.