WARRENTON — The Oregon Board of Education will likely hold a vote Thursday on whether to ban the use of Native American mascots in schools.

Warrenton-Hammond School District, home of the Warriors, is the lone district in Clatsop County affected by the potential change.

The school board discussed potential changes at its Tuesday meeting.

The district would have until July 1, 2017 to make the changes or face a withholding of state funding.

“Most people would like to see it stay the way it is,” said Superintendent Mark Jeffery about local sentiment to keep the mascot. “Everybody has a sense that this has been going on for a number of years. I don’t think anybody will be stunned if they (the board of education) pass the changes.”

Jeffery estimated that if the board passes the ban, it will cost the district less than $5,000 to remove mascots from helmets, the reader board and embroidered images on some carpets.

It would also need to take down the Native American statue in front of Warrenton High School.

The name Warriors could remain.

Diane Collier, chairman of the Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes, recently sent a letter to the board of education in opposition to the ban. “I think it’s just fine,” said Collier about the Native American images in the district. “We look at it like we’re honoring the Warriors. It’s not slandering; it’s honoring the people.”

She said she’s currently one of the only members of the Clatsop-Nehalem to get involved in the issue, largely because at least three generations of her family has attended and graduated from WHS.

“This is like the spotted owl; they just take something and blow it out of proportion.”

The school board also held first readings of 16 board policies, ranging from subjects such as school bus safety and reimbursable school meals to child identification and public charter schools. Jeffery said the policies are minor language changes to previous decisions in the Oregon Legislature.

Once such language change clarified that public charter schools must provide their own special education services, instead of the school district they reside in being responsible. For example, a charter school in the Warrenton area would contract with Northwest Regional Education Service District for special education services instead of Warrenton-Hammond providing the services.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.