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Prepnet / Speak Out

October 24, 2000

Are school mascots or logos depicting Native Americans offensive?

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GEORGE VARVAS

Woodbridge, Track/Cross-Country Coach

The mascot has historically been depicted as a symbol of strength, loyalty and bravery. I'm not Indian, so I don't know if that's how it's taken through their eyes. I know people have never expressed a negative opinion to me. [Woodbridge's Warrior mascot is an Indian.] Right now, we're in the process of finding what the majority opinion is. If this image is not what they want projected, then we will remove it. But, in our opinion, it depicts what it's supposed to, something to strive for.

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GABRIELLA SHEFFIELD

Edison, Cross-Country, Soccer

I do not think that team mascots or team logos that depict Native Americans are offensive because it is just supposed to be a funny cartoon. If it were to be offensive, then saying a mascot representing a bird is offensive also. No type of mascot should be taken seriously as a put down. If anything, it should be considered a compliment for a school to pick a Native American--or anything as a mascot--because that means the school respects them and considers them strong.

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AMY VHYNIS

Dana Hills, Tennis

We're getting really sensitive these days about mascots and a lot of things. I know Stanford changed their mascot from the Indians to the Cardinal. I think it really depends on how the mascot is portrayed. If it's making fun of a Native American or another race, I think it's a problem.

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WENDY HINMAN

Fountain Valley, Field Hockey Booster

No one picks a school mascot because they are trying to belittle the image that is chosen. Mascot names are chosen from the collective heritage or locale to depict strength, pride, endurance, etc.

Every culture has its warriors and peacemakers, its Crazy Horses and its Chief Josephs. If people take offense, they are going out of their way to be offended.

If Woodbridge or San Diego State need a new ethnicity to represent them, by all means use mine. The Woodbridge Celtics loses something in the alliteration and the San Diego State Highlanders loses something of the Mexican heritage of the county, but drop the loin cloths and put on kilts and I bet not a single Scot will be offended.

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PATTY ROBERTSON

Fountain Valley, Parent

For many schools the mascot is a symbol of courage which the students, families and faculty look upon with pride and honor. It is a symbol that represents the school.

Perhaps the energy and time some individuals are exerting trying to get rid of Native American mascots would be better served helping those Native Americans who are suffering from illiteracy, homelessness or unemployment.

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DIANE BIGHEAD

Native American

Native American logos or mascots do not offend me. Some logos are less tasteful than others, but I prefer to view it as a tribute to all Indians. There aren't many of us left to offend anyway.

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DANIEL DIXON

El Modena, Football

Some of the mascots and logos can affect Native Americans and other people. Schools should not have anything that would affect anyone. Just change the name or logo.

NEXT QUESTION

Should boys be allowed to play on girls' sports teams? Why or why not?

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