Kansas district ditches Native American mascots

Kansas

FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, a Los Angeles Unified School District student attends an online class at the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood in Los Angeles. A new federal survey finds that nearly half of the nation’s elementary schools were open for full-time, in-person instruction last month, but the share of students learning in-person has varied greatly by region and race. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas district has decided to ditch its “Redmen” and “Braves” mascots after public opinion shifted.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Atchison school board approved the change unanimously this past week. It was a reversal from 2018 when the board voted to keep the “Redmen” mascot for the district’s high school and the “Braves” mascot for the middle school.

“I felt like my community spoke loud and clear, so that is what changed my vote,” said board member Carrie Sowers, who previously voted to keep the mascots.

Sowers said the board heard considerable support in 2018 for keeping Native American-themed mascots. But this time, all nine people who addressed the matter at a public input session asked the board to do away with the mascots.

“Not one person spoke in favor of keeping the mascots,” Sowers said.

Atchison United, a group that promotes diversity, had pushed the district to reconsider the mascot issue and said in a Facebook post that it “fully supports” the board’s decision.

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