AUSTIN (KXAN) – Earlier today, the Washington Redskins announced their plans to change their team name after decades of controversy. The decision is having a ripple effect across the sports world, as the team has always been resistant to make the change, despite many indigenous tribes speaking out against the name and mascot.
KXAN reached out to local school districts about mascots and names related to Native Americans, curious to see if the districts might make a similar decision to the now Washington Football Team.
In Austin, two schools use Native American imagery as their mascots: Wooten Elementary and Sanchez Elementary. According to the Austin Independent School District, there has not been any discussion at this point regarding the mascots at these school.
However, the district told KXAN that its “School leadership team will definitely work with specific school communities to look further into possible next steps regarding this issue.”
This process could take some time. When the district decided to rename schools named after Confederate leaders, the process took over a year.
Round Rock I.S.D went through a similar controversy last year when a petition was filed to change the “Braves” mascot at Double File Trail Elementary. The petition led to a heated debate on the subject. The school board decided to change the logo but keep the mascot at the school.
Westwood High School, also in Round Rock I.S.D, are called the “Warriors”. They use a logo similar to the former “Redskins” logo.
Earlier this year, a committee landed on a new logo for Double File Trail Elementary which has the word “braves” in it but depicts two children climbing a mountain.
In 2014, the Houston Independent School District banned the usage of mascots that referenced race or ethnicity. Changing uniforms and signage at four schools cost the district an estimated $250,000.
Native American team names and mascots are very common. According to MascotDB, a website devoted to cataloging sports teams, “Warriors” is the sixth most common mascot name, followed by “Braves” in 28th place, and “Redskins” in 70th place. “Redskins’” placing will surely change after the Washington Football Team’s changes fully go into effect.