Warriors mascot is safe for now
Marion-Florence schools don’t need to buy new uniforms just yet, but the Kansas Board of Education wants public schools to kick Native American-themed mascots to the curb within five years.
“I knew that recommendation was coming,” superintendent Lee Leiker told school board members Monday night. “Don’t panic. Don’t overreact.”
Marion, with its Warriors, is among more than 20 schools still holding on to mascots that many argue appropriate Native American culture.
Wichita North dropped its Redskins mascot last year. It no longer has a mascot.
Sports teams across the country such as the former Washington Redskins have dropped names considered offensive. That team became the Commanders. Cleveland’s baseball team ditched its Indians mascot for Guardians.
Gestures such as “tomahawk chops” and rallying cries that evoke pow-wow music also have proved problematic.
Kansas education commissioner Randy Watson has said mascots won’t impact accreditation.
Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kansa, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee, and Wichita are tribes considered native to present-day Kansas.
Federally recognized tribes include the Kansas Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, and Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri (Kansas and Nebraska), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.