(8-20-21) Ohio State Representatives Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) last week introduced a resolution encouraging Ohio’s schools to retire the use of Native American mascots. The resolution is a first step in the legislative process. With Democrats in the House minority it already faces a major roadblock.
Only one Stateline area school took time to reply to our email on the Resolution-
Larry C. Brown, Superintendent
The Fort Recovery Local Schools’ Board Office does not comment on pending legislation (federal or state). If and when this resolution becomes law, we would be glad to share a statement.
Two Superintendents and school boards in the area, Wapakoneta and Ft. Loramie, don’t see an issue with their mascot the Redskins and have decided in the past to continue with it and are not considering a change in the future.
The Resolution encourages the State Board of Education (Ohio Department of Education), the OHSAA and local school boards to assist in retiring Native American mascots.
Mandy Minick, Chief Communications Officer, Ohio Department of Education
Thanks for reaching out to us. I think it’s safe to say the board and the department stand ready to assist schools in complying with legislative directives.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association, along with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) have avoided getting involved with this issue.
Tim Stried, OHSAA in a reply to SSN on the resolution:
each school district chooses its own school colors, fight song, mascot, motto, etc., without OHSAA involvement.
Both groups have been active the last several weeks have been encouraging coaches and student-athletes to be vaccinated.
The NFHS posted on their web site in 2015 concerns about Trademark Issues with Use of College Names, Logos, Mascots, but nothing about Native American mascots.
High schools might be best served by, from the outset, choosing nicknames, logos and mascots dissimilar from those being used by universities in their immediate geographic region and even when using typical nicknames (the dozen most common four-year university nicknames in the country – Eagles, Tigers, Bulldogs, Panthers, Knights, Lions, Bears, Hawks, Cougars, Pioneers, Warriors and Wildcats – are used by a cumulative 425 colleges), attempt to create highly distinctive logos, mascots and other insignia to differentiate the high school’s designs from possible confusion with any university’s marks.
Colorado and Nevada last month both passed bills to bar public schools from adopting Native American mascots. They followed Washington state, where lawmakers approved a similar ban earlier this year.
Before 2021, Maine was the only state to have barred schools from using Native American mascots under a 2019 measure.
From 2014 – Amanda Blackhorse, why Native American “Nicknames” Need To Change
The Native American mascot issue will not be going away soon, those who oppose the using of those mascots have fought the battle for many years and it looks like it is here to stay. Dealing with it now instead of ignoring it is something schools will have to decide.
Recently mascots like the Rebels and other Confederate forms that represent that have been on the chopping block as well.