Officials lobby for keeping mascots

Officials lobby for keeping mascots
A state panel heard strongly negative reviews Tuesday from local school officials about a proposal to ban Indian high school mascots from about 15 Oregon schools.

Some Indian leaders consider the use of Indian mascots, logos and team nicknames as offensive.

The Roseburg High School logo is not used much anymore, and the school uses mostly the orange feather symbol.

State school officials are considering a recommendation to force schools to get rid of them by September 2011.

During several hours of testimony, however, officials from those schools argued that there's no evidence that use of such mascots or symbols creates any problem, and that it would be costly for districts to have to remove them.

Lee Paterson, the Superintendent of the Roseburg School District told the committee, "We have no data to show that this causes harm." In fact, Paterson and other officials said the Indian students
at those schools take a sense of pride in having their schools
known by such symbols, and that the community as a whole supports them as well.

The proposal to do away the Indian mascots and nicknames came after months of closed hearings by an advisory panel to State School Superintendent Susan Castillo, who hasn't indicated when she plans to issue a decision in the dispute.