Soundoff: Maine Might Ban Indian Mascots in Public Schools – Good Idea/Bad Idea?
This issue has boiled over in recent weeks, and it's not going away.
While many Maine schools have changed their mascots in recent years, (like Scarborough's former "redskins" moniker), one school district has so far refused to do so, and now state lawmakers might do something about it.
Skowhegan Area High School has been in the news for months now, after they've held community meetings and forums on the topic of dumping their mascot, the "Skowhegan Indians."
Many in the community and throughout the state favor getting rid of native or ethnic mascots, but some still want to keep the name. Supporters of the "Indians" in Skowhegan are quick to point out that they got rid of the cartoonish logo almost 30 years ago, but that's still not enough for opponents.
This week, Maine's ambassador from the Penobscot Nation announced that she has garnered the support of a lawmaker from Portland to introduce a bill that would ban the use of these types of mascots in Maine public schools.
Skowhegan is the last holdout school in the state to use a mascot or moniker like "Indians." Their school board voted in May 2015 to keep the name by an 11-9 vote. Still, representatives from native nations and local tribes have spoken out against the use of what they call offensive terms that are used to stereotype, demean and caricature native peoples.
Other states have banned the use of racial, ethnic or native nicknames and mascots as well. Should Maine follow suit?
According to the Portland Press Herald and CentralMaine.com, Penobscot Nation ambassador Maulian Dana plans to attend the next Skowhegan area school board meeting, scheduled for Jan. 24. If action isn't taken at that meeting to eliminate the mascot name, legislative action could follow to force their hand.
Do you think that Maine should ban the use of native or ethnic mascots statewide?