HISD Board closer to banning controversial mascots - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

HISD Board closer to banning controversial mascots

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The next time the Lamar Redskins and the Westbury Rebels square off on the football field; actually they might not ever again.

The schools will certainly play, but the mascots will  most likely be different. The HISD Board has voted to ban "offensive or culturally insensitive mascots. 

That means those mascots  plus the Hamilton Indians and the Welch Warriors could be permanently benched.

Miya Fontenot was one of those who urged the board to make the policy change. .
   
"I'm very happy that the board is taking on cultural issues and they voted to pass the amendment or consider it," she said.

Twenty-eight people signed up to address the board. The sides were pretty evenly matched in terms of numbers. 

Those like Fontenot who wanted the change spoke about the oppression of Native Americans and  how the term "redskin" was a slur.

Those who wanted to keep the change accused the board of caving to political correctness and ignoring tradition. They said the schools mascots  were actually honoring Native Americans.

While comments split close to fifty-fifty, the vote did not. All members voted to change the policy.

After the vote, Lamar graduates vented their frustration.

"Not one of us, not one of us from white to black to whatever color we are got asked and not one of us is derogatory towards anything. We always meant this from pride," said Demetria Routte.

While tempers flared school board member Mike Lunceford offered this perspective.

"You will survive. It's not the mascot that makes the school. it's the people in the school and what they want. The school names themselves are important. You will get past this."

The board has to hold a final vote in January. If it  passes again the change will go into effect in the 2014-2015 school year.

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