September 24, 1993, the Washington State Board of Education adopted
the following resolution:
school districts are asked to review building names, mascots, logos,
activities, events, portrayal of caricatures, and behaviors to ensure
that such references and activiries are free from bias and derogatory
connotations or effects associated with race, creed, color, national
origin, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Behaviors should
be reviewed with the objective of assuring respect for cultural
differences, values, and attitudes to treat individuals with respect,
dignity, and fairness.
the Washington State Board of Education requests school districts
review and reevaluate their policies and practices in the areas
listed above and send a brief report describing the process used,
and the results, to the Washington Slate Board of Education no later
than September 30, 1994.
with the Washington State Board of Education's philosophy relating
to local control, schools, and school districts are requested to
actively involve their students and communities in the discussions
and review. This review process will provide an opportunity for
all students, teachers, board members, parents, and the other community
members to broaden their knowledge and understanding regarding diversity
and differing attitudes and perceptions. It is further requested
that a copy of this resolution be read aloud at a meeting of the
school directors in every school district in the state of Washington,
as well as before the student bodies of each middle school and high
school, and that this resolution be made available to parents and
members of the community
Slate Board of Education
This final report is in response
to the Board resolution adopted September 24, 1993, asking all school
districts to review building names, mascots, logos, activities,
events, portrayal of caricatures, and behaviors. The purpose of
the review was to determine that such references and activities
were free from bias and derogatory connotations or effects associated
with race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation,
and disability. The Board asked further that behaviors be reviewed
with the objective of assuring respect for cultural differences,
values, and attitudes in treating individuals with respect, dignity,
School districts were asked to
respond no later than September 30, 1994.
134 school districts (45%) have
responded to the Board's request. (See attached worksheet.)
The Board's resolution has created
a new level of awareness concerning the sensitive nature of this
topic. Opportunities for related discussion between community and
school groups and students have been heightened as a consequence
Responses have included discussions
of policies, procedures and practices between communities, students
and staff. Cultural awareness materials have been shared and some
job descriptions have been rewritten to conform with the American
Disabilities Act. Cultural/ethnic diversity task forces continue
to be established and affirmative action policies have been rewritten.
As a result of the state Board's
1993 resolution, several schools have decided to make changes to
their mascots or logos. Hudtloff Junior High School in the Clover
Park School District is purging its Indian symbol from their letterhead.
They plan to select a new mascot in the fall of 1995. Moses Lake
High School retained the "Chiefs" mascot, but discontinued
their cartoon logo. Port Townsend discontinued their mascot costume
in 1991 and has an annual review of its mascot. Renton High School
is retaining their mascot name (Indians), but changed to a Pacific
Northwest Indian. Tacoma, in their review, changed the Meeker Middle
School "Warriors" to the "Wolverines" and the
Manitou Elementary School "Chiefs" to the "Bulldogs."
Toledo, although they retained the Indian logo, phased out the "wahoo"
type character. Also, Vancouver retained the "Chieftains,"
but eliminated cartoon caricature portrayals and painted a new mural
depicting a Pacific Northwest Indian.
Two schools in the Federal Way
School District are developing plans to examine mascots. They are
the Sacajawea Junior High. "Warriors" and the Illahee
Junior High school "Braves." Bethel School District is
reviewing their policies and will determine implementation this
school year. Mead is in the process of reviewing their mascot, the
Several schools with Native American
mascots have chosen to retain those mascots due to cultural pride
felt by students and the community. Some of them are: Cape Flattery,
Boisifort, Colville, Dixie, Issaquah, LaConner, Reardan-Edwall,
South Bend, and Wabluke.
Many of the school districts
have thanked the State Board of Education for the opportunity to
review these issues and they endorse and support the Board's efforts
to assure responsible and respectful treatment of all people and
Letters from individual school
districts are available upon request.