Education | Opinion

Editorial: Oregon lawmaker keeps promise on Indian mascot law





Newspaper praises Oregon lawmaker for helping pass Senate Bill 1509, which allows public schools to keep their mascots with tribal permission:
Scio Rep. Sherrie Sprenger recently started the long process of fulfilling a promise she made to Oregon schools, its Native American tribes and Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Sprenger’s path to last week’s Lebanon School Board meeting started in 2012, when the state Board of Education passed a sweeping ban forbidding public schools from using Native American mascots. Schools that ignored the ban ran the risk of losing state funding. (In the mid-valley, Lebanon High School and Philomath High School both still use the “Warriors” nickname and feature some Native American imagery.)

Sprenger thought the ban overreached, and we agreed. She started pushing for a compromise measure, in which districts could continue to use a Native American mascot if they entered into agreements to do so with one of Oregon’s federally recognized Native American tribes.

As the representative explained last week to Lebanon’s school trustees, the bill that finally passed the Legislature last session kicks the issue back to the state Board of Education, which is now charged with establishing the specific rules by which school districts can use Native American mascots.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Fulfilling a promise to Oregon's schools, Native Americans (The Corvallis Gazette-Times 6/30)

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Oregon governor expected to sign bill to allow Indian mascots (02/27)
Oregon lawmakers weigh another bill to allow Indian mascots (2/25)
Editorial: Missed opportunity with veto of Oregon mascot bill (8/19)