12 schools face $25K fines under law banning American Indian mascots

Eleven schools were eliminated Thursday from a listing of schools that were being not in compliance with a new state law banning the use of American Indian mascots, leaving 12 educational institutions dealing with fines of $25,000 a thirty day period if they haven’t complied by June 1.

Montrose County College District issued a swift rebuke to the Colorado Fee of Indian Affairs board’s final decision to preserve two of its faculties on what Montrose identified as the “state’s offensive mascot registry.”

The CCIA board is billed with applying Senate Monthly bill 116, which involves general public K-12 schools to reduce American Indian mascots, logos and other imagery by June 1 or confront every month fines.

Montrose produced its situation to the CCIA board in January that the Johnson Elementary Faculty Thunderbirds mascot was a cross-cultural legendary bird. The faculty modernized the imagery of its mascot to guarantee it did not use Indigenous American iconography.

The board designed no remark right after the January presentation and designed no remark Thursday when it declined to get rid of the elementary university from the list. 

Afterwards in the assembly, the board briefly considered adding two other educational facilities to the record that have Thunderbird mascots: Hinkley High College in Aurora and Sangre de Cristo School District north of Alamosa. It was unclear wherever the suggestion arrived from, but Redhorse indicated she had spoken with Hinkley and it mentioned its mascot linked to the Air Drive.

The board did not insert both of them to the faculty listing. Montrose spokesman Matt Jenkins claimed he experienced no remark on that selection.

The board also kept Montrose Superior School on the listing, although it has transformed its mascot from the Indians to the Crimson Hawk.

“We have no plan how or why the commissioners would find the Montrose Superior Faculty ‘Red Hawk’ an inappropriate or offensive option,” the district mentioned in a launch.

“Our group has worked tricky to fulfill the demands this stress has positioned on our faculties by Governor Polis and the fee,” the launch claimed. “Thus considerably, the commission has been silent towards our repeated requests for clarification and conversation on this concern, irrespective of our good religion energy to meet up with the needs of this legislative modify.”

The district has budgeted $375,000 to pay out for alterations related with the new mascots.

The CCIA board did vote to clear away Centennial Middle University in Montrose from the checklist just after it changed its nickname to the Bears from the Braves.

The board also declined Elbert County School District’s request to eliminate Kiowa Elementary, Middle University and Substantial University from the list. The district, situated in the town of Kiowa, has attained arrangement with the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma to keep its Indian mascot. The legislation allows faculties or districts with partnerships with acknowledged tribes to keep Indigenous mascots. 

Board members questioned numerous issues about the day and material of a letter from the tribal chairman, like irrespective of whether a letter would be viewed as an settlement. CCIA Govt Director Kathryn Redhorse examine a portion of the regulation as it pertains to tribal agreements but there was no more dialogue, and a request for a movement to take out the colleges from the record was satisfied with silence.

Action on a lot of of the educational facilities taken off from the record arrived swiftly and with tiny dialogue as board members indicated they were acting on CCIA employees tips.

Having said that, documentation submitted by the districts and any personnel tips had been not supplied all through the meeting or less than numerous requests to the governor’s press business office. Redhorse briefly summarized the districts’ requests.

A several districts stated they were in the procedure of modifying and would submit far more documentation to CCIA for the May well 19 meeting — the very last likelihood they will have to be voted off the list of individuals not in compliance with the regulation.

For instance, the Arickaree School District in northeast Colorado reported it was changing from the Indians to the Wolves, a move its board is envisioned to vote on this month, Redhorse informed the board. Mountain Valley University District in Saguache also informed the board that it was changing its mascot from the Indian to the Wolves but that get the job done is not finished.

The a few faculties in Eaton College District had remained on the list with asterisks by their names, but they experienced never been discussed by the board. The names had been taken out on Thursday. Superintendent Jay Tapia claimed in an job interview Friday morning that the educational facilities will retain the historical Reds nickname, linked to the schools’ jersey colour, but is in the system of getting rid of Indian imagery that had been affiliated with the name considering the fact that the 1960s.

Tapia reported he lately emailed Redhorse with the district’s timetable for taking away photographs from the fitness center floor and a stucco exterior wall right after college allows out for the summer, but experienced not read back.

Tribe, Yetis, Pioneers

Two districts that introduced to the board throughout a January get the job done session, Lamar and Yuma, did not post any added documentation for Thursday’s meeting. Both of those experienced been advised to come up with a “Plan B” since the board was skeptical of its mascot strategies. 

Lamar stated it wished to continue to keep its Savages nickname but would rid its educational facilities of all Native American imagery. A emblem committee has been working given that January and expects to make a presentation to the district’s board of schooling on March 21. A modern on the net update made no mention of the Savages nickname.

The Yuma School District experienced proposed applying Tribes as a nickname, but CCIA board customers claimed that seemed to relate extra to the district’s use of Indians as a mascot than as a generic use of Tribe. The board reportedly voted final month to eradicate the Indian mascot, but did not decide for a new 1, in accordance to a Denver Put up short article

Runners up to the Tribe nickname preferred by the local community included Yetis and Pioneers.

Alumni, residents and pupils from the two districts are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn the mascot regulation. Federal district courtroom and the 10th Circuit Court docket the two denied an injunction that would have place the lawsuit filed by Mountain States Lawful Foundation on hold.

Erin Erhardt, a Mountain States legal professional, explained Thursday that the plaintiffs have questioned for a summary judgment, and the state’s response is because of following week.

Districts and colleges that were deemed compliant with the law on Thursday and removed from the listing experiencing penalties are:

  • Sanford School District (San Luis Valley) elementary and junior/senior substantial colleges, which switched from the Indians to the Thundering Mustangs
  • Mesa Valley School District’s Central High School is retaining its Warriors nickname with a new very simple W logo
  • St. Vrain College District’s Frederick Higher School has switched from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles 
  • Weldon Valley College District (northeast Colorado) is retaining the Warriors nickname for its two educational institutions and utilizing a W logo
  • Campo Faculty District (southeast Colorado) is switching from the Warriors nickname to the Patriots, which its two schools use in its sports’ co-op
  • Pueblo County School District’s Avondale Elementary College has switched from its Apache Indians mascot to the All Stars
  • Colorado Springs University District’s Group Prep Faculty has eradicated all Warrior photos

The CCIA board introduced Thursday that it will deliver another perform session April 15 for faculties that want to explore their mascot adjustments.

UPDATE: This tale was up-to-date March 11, 2022, at 10:15 a.m. to replicate that Eaton Faculty District has been eradicated from the list and to include details presented by the superintendent of colleges.


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