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Colorado lawmakers vote to ban American Indian mascots in public schools

SB21-116 is headed to the governor’s desk and would make Colorado fifth state to get rid of derogatory mascots

Saja Hindi
The Denver Post

Colorado public schools will soon be banned from using derogatory American Indian mascots under a proposed law that the state legislature passed Thursday night.

SB21-116 is headed to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk for final approval after the Colorado Senate approved the House’s changes.

In becoming the fifth U.S. state to ban such mascots, public schools will have until June 1, 2022, to change their mascots or face a $25,000 per month fine that’ll go toward the state’s education fund.



Schools that already have agreements with one of 48 federally recognized Indian tribes with ties in Colorado can keep their mascots if the agreement was made prior to June 30, 2021, but the tribes can revoke those agreements at any point or the agreements can be ended by either party. If that happens, schools will have one year to find a new mascot.

If a public school is named after a tribe — such as Niwot, Yuma or Ouray — or an American Indian person, the school can continue to use the name on its letterhead as long as it doesn’t use an image or symbol.



Click here to read the full story from The Denver Post


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