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Wichita school board votes to drop Redskins mascot name

February 9, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Wichita school board has voted to drop the North High School’s Redskins mascot name, opting to phase out use of the mascot over two years.

The board voted unanimously at a Monday meeting to drop the name, but will continue to use Native American imagery by keeping its shield, drum and feather logo.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to correct a past wrong,” board president Stan Reeser said, according to the Wichita Eagle.

The decision comes as teams on all levels across the country are changing or reconsidering mascots considered to be culturally insensitive. The Washington Football Team of the NFL dropped its Redskins mascot last year, and Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves have stopped using the Chief Wahoo mascot. The Kansas City Chiefs are under pressure to end the traditional “war chant” by fans that uses a chopping hand motion designed to mimic the Native American tomahawk.

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Ahead of Monday’s vote, Wichita board members received more than 120 pages of emailed comment. While many wrote in support of dropping the name, more than half supported keeping the mascot.

Starting next school year, the Wichita district will begin removing “Redskin” from athletic and other uniforms, jerseys and facilities, as well as school-related activities and school apparel. No new mascot was chosen.