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Shawnee Mission School District's mascot policy could change

Native American leaders, teachers, students agree
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Posted at 7:09 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 20:09:47-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Current and former students, along with Native American tribal leaders, demanded a new school mascot policy during Monday night's Shawnee Mission School Board meeting.

Speakers during the meeting's public comment session singled out the Indian mascot used by Shawnee Mission North High School.

"We are not caricatures," Shawnee Tribe Chief Ben Barnes told the board.

Barnes urged the board to take a stand at this moment in history.

"People are not mascots," he said

Glory Obi, a senior at SM North High School, presented a passionate argument for eliminating the Indian mascot at her school. Obi told the board the mascot is offensive and makes it hard to attend sporting events.

The board heard a first reading Monday night of the the mascot proposal.

The policy includes requirements that a mascot will not be derogatory or offensive toward a person or class of persons based on a protected class and that mascots will be culturally and racially sensitive and appropriate.

The board is expected to vote on the policy at its Jan. 25 meeting.

Shawnee Mission North High School opened in 1922 and is the original Shawnee Mission High School.