Wichita BOE votes to discontinue ‘Redskin’ mascot for North High

Wichita North High School in Wichita, Kansas.
Wichita North High School in Wichita, Kansas.(KWCH)
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 8:32 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The change won’t happen immediately, but at its meeting Monday night, the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to accept a committee’s recommendations to discontinue using the “Redskin” mascot for Wichita North High School. The recommendations presented at the board’s meeting include discontinuing the name and implementing a two-year, phase-in plan starting next school year (2021-2022) and commencing in the 2022-2023 school year to remove “Redskins” from the school’s athletic facilities, school, apparel, etc...

The Wichita school district decided to follow the recommendations of the committee that was tasked last summer with looking into the mascot that many consider to be culturally insensitive. The school will just be known as Wichita North, represented by its shield, drum and feather logo.

In addition to removing all references to “Redskins” from decorations and uniforms, the school will create a Native American curriculum and plans to keep the Native American statues around the school. At their meeting Monday night, board members also cited a policy in the district that bans any symbols offensive to minority groups.

“Many organizations and teams – from professional teams to college teams to high schools teams – have started evaluating the impact of culturally-insensitive mascots,” the board’s agenda for Monday night’s meeting read.

The board decided to discuss the school’s mascot after they received feedback from community members.

The board said it “received many letters requesting that they look at the Wichita High School North mascot to examine the social impact and ramifications on our students and our district.”

Earlier last year, the board decided to table discussion of the school’s mascot until the public can be present for discussion at the meeting. The public was not allowed into the earlier meeting due to COVID-19.

The third-largest school district in Kansas, Shawnee Mission, voted earlier this year to ditch the use of the Braves or Indians as a mascot. This included one of their high schools, Shawnee Mission North, and three elementary schools.

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