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Some Ohio Lawmakers Urge High Schools to Retire Native American Mascots

 Cleveland Indians
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Cleveland's baseball team is retiring the Indians name after this season in favor of the new name, Cleveland Guardians.

Some Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a resolution to urge schools in Ohio that have Native American mascots to retire them. This is not a bill that would require districts to do that, but the Democratic lawmakers sponsoring it, who are in the minority in state government, hope the resolution will spark a conversation about it.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association says there are 79 high schools with mascots referred to as Indians, Redmen, Braves, Mohawks, Raiders, and other like terms. Rep Adam Miller (D-Columbus) says it is time for those schools to retire those mascots.

“We are hoping this resolution forces a consideration of an issue that has been quietly brewing for a long, long time," Miller says.

Miller is calling on state and local communities to help schools to make those changes, especially now, when one of Ohio's Major League Baseball teams has chosen to do that.

The Cleveland Indians will be known as the Guardians beginning next season, after recently changing their name. In recent years, they had moved away from using the former controversial mascot, Chief Wahoo. But not everyone is on board with the changes. Many fans have lambasted the team's decision on social media.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.