American Indian Education Oversight CommitteeDate: November 25, 2012
To: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
From: Laura Lee George, Chair, American Indian Education Oversight Committee
RE: Use of American Indian Mascots in California Schools
CC: Craig Cheslog, Judy Delgado
On November 25, 2012, the American Indian Education Oversight Committee (AIEOC) voted that I send you this advisory advocating for a ban on the use of American Indian Mascots in California schools.
Background: The suggested use of American Indians as mascots in schools has again surfaced its ugly head in various parts of the state. American Indian parents and students periodically are subjected to harassment, disparagement, and psychological despair in defending their cultures and sacred objects against misuse. Would it be okay to use any other sacred objects as mascots, such as using the Catholic Pope’s regalia? American Indian headdresses, etc. deserve the same respect.
Recommendation: The AIEOC strongly recommends that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction advocate for a ban on the use of American Indian mascots in California’s schools under Education Code 201 as they create hostile environments for students.