A highly scrutinized decision by the Spirit Lake School Board has particular interest in Cherokee, where a similar ongoing controversy exists.
The Spirit Lake School Board voted 5 to 0 to keep the name "Indians" as its logo and mascot. The effort to change the name that was potentially offensive to a segment of the population had support from the superintendent of the Spirit Lake School District, Timothy Grieves,
Before Monday's vote, the Spirit Lake School Board conducted two community forums on the matter of a possible name change. There were reportedly strong feelings on both sides of the issue.
Back in July of 2002 an Equity Review Team issued a report that the use of the Braves logo by the Cherokee School District was 'noncompliant' to the requirements of the Iowa Code.
The team suggested that the district:
1) Ensure that the history, contributions and perspectives of the group depicted are included in the K-12 curriculum.
2) Communicate with leaders representing the group depicted by the logo to get their perspectives and feelings about the mascot/logo and the use of it by the district.
3) Provide guidelines for students, staff, parents, fans and the media for avoiding offensive and stereotypic use of the mascot/logo.
4) Take steps to address changing the mascot/logo if the group depicted by it is offended.
The district has taken steps to comply with the requirements.
At the school board meeting in 2002 at which the report was presented, it was suggested that the use of the Braves logo could be phased out. The buildings and grounds supervisor noted that the process had already started with the elimination of the logo from the high school gym floor.