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Two Loveland schools are retiring their Native American mascots

Thompson School District Board says mascots were “at the very least problematic and at the very worst they were discriminatory and racist.”

LOVELAND, Colo — The Thompson School District voted unanimously to retire the "Indians" and "Warriors" as the mascots of Loveland High School and Bill Reed Middle School.

Native American organizations have said they find these mascots offensive for years, according to Thompson School District Board of Education President Lori Hvizda Ward. 

The board has been debating removing the mascots since adopting a new equity policy in June, but this was not the first time the issue was brought to the table. 

“It's been probably for the last 20 or 25 years that people have brought it forward, and it's never really gone anywhere,” Hvizda Ward said. “It's been, you know, looked at a little bit, you know, little, little changes made here and there.”

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Hvizda Ward said that after developing the equity policy, the district realized a change needed to be made.

“So, we had adopted this strategic plan and out of that came our equity policy, which was important to recognize the value of each student, each employee to adult in our school district, and we came to realize that that was not in line with having mascots at the two schools that were at the very least problematic and at the very worst they were discriminatory and racist,” Hvizda Ward said. 

The process for selecting new mascots isn’t finalized, but Hvizda Ward said students, alumni and the greater Loveland community will have a say. She said it will be similar to how they decide mascots for new schools. This means public forums and votes will be scheduled for later this year. 

The hope is to have all the imagery of the former mascots removed from both schools by Aug. 1, 2021. 

The board's full resolution can be found here: 

“If even one child is affected by this negatively, that hurts me.” Hvizda Ward said. “I don't want to see our students be negatively affected by something that's as relatively fixable as a school mascot.” 

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