Senator Jeff Kruse Press Release 11/5/2007:
Senator Jeff Kruse to Department of Education:
“What authority on school mascots?”
Salem, OR — Senator Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg) wants to know by what authority the Department of Education is considering a ban on American Indian mascots in high schools across Oregon. At today’s Senate Interim Committee on Education and General Government meeting, Kruse officially asked for an explanation from the Department. The Oregon State Board of Education is currently considering whether to implement a ban.
“Oregon communities have the common sense to deal with issues like these on their own,” said Senator Jeff Kruse. “This is a purely local issue. I think the Department of Education has far more pressing issues it should be attending to, like squeezing out waste so we can put more resources into classrooms. “
There are 15 high schools in Oregon that use American Indian names or symbols in their mascots, including the Amity Warriors; Banks Braves; Lebanon Warriors; Mohawk Indians; Molalla Indians; North Douglas Warriors; Oakridge Warriors; Philomath Warriors; Reedsport Braves; Rogue River Chieftains; Roseburg Indians; Scappoose Indians; Siletz Valley Warriors; The Dalles Wahtonka Eagle Indians; and the Warrenton Warriors.
“For the Roseburg Indians and the other schools with similar mascots across Oregon, these symbols are points of pride,” said Kruse. “Mascots are something that students honor and regard. This is a way to recognize a big part of Oregon’s history and heritage. “
The proposal under consideration by the Department of Education would force all 15 schools to adopt new mascot names by 2011.