Kansas council asks Board of Education to urge removal of offensive mascots, branding

Blackwood, a Lawrence resident and member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, told members of the Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday perpetuation of offensive team names or mascots created a hostile educational environment in schools.

By

State News

October 12, 2022 - 3:55 PM

Joseph Rupnick, chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, said the Kansas State Board of Education ought to strongly urge local school boards to abandon offensive Native American mascots and branding as soon as possible. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Board of Education livestream)

TOPEKA — Haskell Indian Nations University freshman Georgia Blackwood said indigenous-themed imagery and branding presented in the form of school mascots made her feel non-Native Americans were intent on treating her culture with disrespect.

Blackwood, a Lawrence resident and member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, told members of the Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday perpetuation of offensive team names or mascots created a hostile educational environment in schools.

She endorsed a Kansas Advisory Council for Indigenous Education recommendation the state Board of Education and the Kansas Board of Regents make a priority of working to convince local school officials to abandon culturally inappropriate branding. The council report suggested the transition be completed within three to five years.

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