Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

WA Legislature approves ban on Native American school mascots

Native American advocate Carl Moore sits next to Native American imagery painted along a walkway which leads from the Bountiful High School parking lot up to the football field Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Bountiful, Utah.
Rick Bowmer
/
The Associated Press
Native American advocate Carl Moore sits next to Native American imagery painted along a walkway which leads from the Bountiful High School parking lot up to the football field Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Bountiful, Utah.

The Washington Legislature has approved a measure to ban the use of Native American names, symbols and images as school mascots, logos and team names at most public schools in Washington.

On a 90-8 vote, the House concurred with changes made in the Senate. Once the measure is signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, the ban would take effect Jan. 1. Under the measure, school districts would have some time to phase out the mascot, team name or logo, but they would be required to select a new mascot by Dec. 31 to take effect by the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Starting in 2022, they would not be able to purchase uniforms that include the old mascot or name.

The ban does not apply to schools located within Native American areas or to schools in counties adjacent to Native American areas, as long as the nearest tribe is consulted and authorizes the use of the name.

The Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Schools estimates there are more than 30 schools in the state that currently use Native American names, symbols or images. A fiscal note attached to the bill notes that costs to school districts would vary based on the number of items that would need to be replaced, including sports and club uniforms, flags, banners and other materials. The proposed law creates a grant program to help support schools that incur costs related to the proposed change.

The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.
Related Content