Oregon considers banning Native American mascots



SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is rejoining a longstanding national debate over Native American-related mascots, nicknames and logos in schools.

Board of Education members said Tuesday that they’ll consider a rule outlawing depictions of American Indians in school athletics. Five years ago, the board issued a recommendation but stopped short of requiring schools to drop Native American mascots.

The issue has stirred passionate debate between people who say the mascots are offensive and others who contend they honor American Indian heritage. There’s also disagreement among Native Americans.

State officials say 15 Oregon high schools have Indian-related mascots and nicknames, along with an unknown number of elementary and middle schools. Since the 1970s, 20 high schools have dropped them.

Wisconsin has outlawed such names, and the NCAA has prohibited them in college athletic programs.