Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Kelley Martin Clough

Scappoose High is one of at least 15 Oregon high schools that will have to change its Native American-themed mascot name after a vote by the Oregon Board of Education. The Indians name is likely to be gone soon.

The Oregonian reported this week that at least 15 Oregon high schools must replace their Native American-themed mascots by 2017 or risk losing their state funding.

On Thursday, the State Board of Education passed by a 5-1 vote banning mascots such as "Indians", "Chiefs"" and "Braves". The "Warriors" mascot could be an exception, but logos can't refer to tribal customs or traditions.

Supporters of the ban long have contended that these types of mascots are racist and encourage students to accept stereotypes. Opponents argued that tradition will suffer as well as finances at a time when nearly all schools are in need of more money.

"I'm overwhelmed, but I'm holding back on my emotions -- I have a meeting to finish," said board Chairwoman Brenda Frank, a member of the Klamath Tribes. "It's been a long time coming."

On the opposite side, Molalla High parent Jennifer Satter was quoted as saying: "They'll have to find every little thing. How can this be our top priority? Our kids are suffering.

"There are so many more pressing issues."