Yuma mascot list reduced to 15 – Yuma Pioneer
Now there are 15.
The Yuma School District-1 Board of Education shortened the list of submissions for a new mascot during its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening at the district office on the southern edge of downtown Yuma.
Yuma-1 has to eliminate the “Indians” that have existed since the mid-1930s for a new mascot and install a new one in the current school year. That’s because Senate Act 21-116 was passed by the Colorado Legislature during this year’s session, which requires all public schools with Native American mascots to have them removed by June 1, 2022.
Four of the five board members attended Monday’s meeting, Dan Ross, Lindsey Galles and Duane Brown in person and Kim Langley from afar. Board member Thomas Holtorf was absent.
Yuma-1 has been accepting submissions for a new mascot in the last few weeks leading up to the board meeting in September. As of September 15, there were 36 community submissions representing 22 options.
The board then narrowed the possible new mascots to 15 on Monday night – basically eliminating those that would now be accepted for various reasons.
The remaining 15 are as follows:
• Ring necks.
• baling presses.
Yuma-1 will again make submission forms available for the public to comment on which selection they like best. There was talk of doing some sort of social media survey or a Survey Monkey poll, but it was found that the explanations behind each original submission were very thoughtful and it would be preferable to do it all over again rather than just on to click a poll.
October 8th is the deadline for community feedback on the remaining 15. The Board will hold a working session on October 11th to learn more in person from the public. The board will then discuss the issue further in its October meeting.
The schedule tells the board to choose the new mascot at the November meeting. The district will then work with companies on a new logo, which will be selected in time for the timely ordering of the fall sportswear.
The Pioneers and the Tribe each had most of the 36 public filings, each of which received seven.
“What I really appreciate is that you provided the justification,” Superintendent Dianna Chrisman said of all the filings. “I think everyone was related to Yuma or Yuma’s story.”
Several proposals were eliminated on Monday evening for various reasons. Yuma was the Cornhuskers for about 15 years before switching to Indians in the mid-1930s. Someone suggested returning to Cornhuskers, but there were concerns that the University of Nebraska has copyrights. The Tall Bulls proposal has been eliminated because it refers to an Indian chief killed in the 1880s. “Arrows” was thrown away because of its Indian connection. Others thrown out on the first cut were Red Renegades, Thunderbirds, Hawks, and Red Hawks.
Board member Duane Brown raised concerns about Tribe because of its Native American connection. Ross said the term dates back to Biblical times and is used around the world so he found it acceptable. Galles said there are many ways to define tribe. Brown said he agreed but was concerned that it would not be accepted.
Board members talked about how those behind state legislation are using their passions to create a vast gray area that they may find unacceptable. Some suggestions were removed because board members noted they didn’t want Yuma’s new mascot to be used by several different schools.
It was also discussed how images are more important than the mascot word itself. It was argued that Lamar would keep “Savages” but eliminate his images, and that Eaton stayed with “Reds” but had just got rid of his Native American cartoon images is.
Chrisman said during the discussion that the cost of changing mascot for the district is definitely $ 400,000.
State law requires school districts like Yuma to make the change and eliminate all images by June 1.
Ross asked Chrisman how likely the district is to meet this deadline, and if it doesn’t, it would have to pay the $ 25,000 monthly fine.
Chrisman said the district could probably get most of this done by June 1, but the gym floors probably wouldn’t be ready until the summer vacation. She said Yuma-1 is working with other affected districts and the Rural School Alliance to get some leeway. She said the public wouldn’t be in the gyms in the summer anyway and they couldn’t be done until then unless they were taken away as a classroom.
“I think as long as we have goodwill we will be fine,” Chrisman said, adding that there are no guarantees at this point.