Union Public Schools Sets Time Aside To Reevaluate District's Mascot

Monday, July 6th 2020, 3:53 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa County -

Union Public Schools is going to talk about re-evaluating its "Redskins" mascot. The school district has had the Redskins mascot since 1945.

Union Public Schools formally talked about changing the mascot name nearly two decades ago. School leaders say now is the time to discuss the issue again.

The Union Public Schools Board of Education decided in 2002 to keep the Redskins mascot name.

Superintendent Kirt Hartzler says "Many, both inside and outside our community, have had conflicting emotions over the years regarding Union's mascot." His statement says "It is important that we reconsider this name to see if it aligns with the district's core values that we have today"

"The term Redskins is a racial slur," Greater Tulsa Cherokees Founder Linda Leaf Bolin said.

Bolin helped with the effort to change the name 17 years ago. She says they want to help teach the community about the negative history behind the Redskins name.

"Please look at your history books, please look at what the word Redskins really means, and when you look at what it really means come back and say to us you think you're honoring us," Bolin said.

Others on Facebook disagree.

Jan says "no they shouldn't. Any Indian related names or mascots were chosen because they depict strength, warrior status, brave."

Rhonda says "Proud Creek and doesn't bother me. My two kids both are Union grads. I am very proud of Union and support their decision on this matter. It just seems to be a non-issue."

Bolin says she, and others, have heard all of this in the past.

"In the meantime, we're saying to you, it is not an honor, it's demeaning, it's insensitive, it's hurtful, so please change the name," Bolin said.

The board meeting is set for next Monday at 7 pm.

The superintendent will recommend they form a committee to study the issue, which will make a final recommendation to the board.

In response to the announcement, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. issued the following statement:

Chief Hoskin StatementImage Provided By: Twitter

This is a developing story.