ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Roseburg School District Superintendent Larry Parsons is challenging the Oregon Board of Education ban, which could soon banish some local school mascots.
The board of education voted to prohibit the use of Native American names, symbols or images as school mascots, but Parsons said the fight is not over yet. "First of all, we're not entirely done yet with this thing," he said.
The proposed ban has some students questioning the board's logic. Tabitha Cannon told KPIC News, "It really defines our football team. We're the Indians, we're big, we're tough, we're proud."
Another Roseburg student questioned the timing of the ban. "A lot of electives are being cut, a lot of teachers are being cut, and they want to change the mascot," said Cassidy Gabbard.
It has been estimated that changing the mascot will cost the Roseburg School District $345,000.
Parsons says even though he expected the vote to go the way it did, it didn't make it any easier. "While I wasn't surprised when the vote actually happened, I still felt like I was kicked in the stomach."
Parsons says he is working with attorneys to find possible legal recourse.
He feels the ban is is a disservice to the community. "In terms of the loyalty that folks have had here for 50 or 60 or 70 years, to the Roseburg Indian."
The ban is scheduled to take effect in July of 2017.