2012 Native American Mascot Resolution
Encouraging Local School Boards to Review Policies Related to the Use of Native American Mascots or Other Symbols
Adopted on September 27, 2012
WHEREAS the State Board of Education reaffirms its commitment to encouraging local districts to remove biased, derogatory, or inflammatory mascots, logos, names, and symbols from their schools; and
WHEREAS numerous Washington State public schools continue to use Native American names, symbols, and images as mascots, nicknames, logos, and or team names; and
WHEREAS in 2005, the American Psychological Association, citing research documenting harm to Native American children, called for the immediate retirement of all Native American mascots, symbols, images, and personalities; and
WHEREAS in 1993, the State Board of Education formally adopted a resolution1 asking school districts to re-examine their policies regarding the use of Native American mascots. Other states have formally banned Native American mascots, including Oregon in 2012; and
WHEREAS 100 National organizations and tribes have called for the immediate retirement of the use of Native American mascots, including the National Congress of American Indians, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Education Alliance, and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians; and
WHEREAS student achievement data reveals that the achievement gap for Native Americans is widening; and
WHEREAS the State Board is committed to policies that promote an academic climate where each student feels safe, respected, and ready to learn; and
WHEREAS inflammatory mascots are countercurrent to the Board’s vision for an excellent and equitable education for all students.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Washington State Board of Education urges school districts to follow the principles outlined in the 1993 Board Resolution. Local district leaders are encouraged to review and reevaluate mascot policies that may have an adverse affect on Washington students.
About the State Board of Education: The State Board of Education provides advocacy and strategic oversight of public education. The board is comprised of 16 members: five are elected by school board directors, seven are appointed by the Governor, two serve as student representatives, and one serves as a private school representative. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is also a member.