The school community of Red Lodge, Montana, has decided to drop the mascot name “Redskins” by a unanimous vote of the School District board of education, and this week the decision drew praise from three education specialists who are of American Indian descent.
Speaking to the student body this week, Mike Jetty of the state office of public education declared, “This is historic.” In an hour-long presentation, Jetty regaled students about cultural relations in Montana, asking if they had ever heard disparaging remarks made against women, teachers, Caucasians, or American Indians. “No matter who we are,” he said, “we are all working on these issues.”
Students in the audience seemed impressed. “I really liked that,” said one. “Helps reassure us we made the right decision,” said another, who added that many students had felt self-conscious about the “Redskin” mascot. Especially when the school opponent was a team from a reservation in the state. “Very hard to show school spirit,” said another.
The school is now about the process of selecting another name for a mascot, but the “Redskin” moniker is history in Red Lodge.