Bill could cause some high schools to lose their mascots

Political News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Some high schools in Illinois would lose their mascots if a new measure passes in the Capitol.

It would not be an outright ban, but more of an ultimatum. If schools did not get approval from a Native American tribe or include Native American studies in their curriculum, they would need to get rid of their mascot.

A Rockford representative is sponsoring the bill. He said he has already received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. He is open to that feedback, but his end result needs to stay the same. “Their history is really taught. The things our schools are doing are not derogatory,” said Maurice West (D-Rockford). “We need to stop looking at it through the lens of tradition. We need to start looking at it through the lens of respect for everyone. That is where this bill is coming from.” West said he plans to introduce an amendment to the bill that would create a committee of Native American leaders to oversee the changes. The bill is scheduled to go in front of committee on Wednesday.

If the ban was to happen, several central Illinois high schools would be affected. There are four that use the name “Indians” as their mascot:

  • Altamont
  • Neoga
  • Pontiac
  • Pawnee

There are three that use “Warriors”:

  • Casey-Westfield
  • Tuscola
  • Watseka

Two are the “Redskins”:

  • Nokomis
  • Sullivan

Mount Zion’s mascot is “The Braves”.

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