From Braves to Brave? Boise High School considers mascot change

The next chapter in Idaho’s debate over American Indian mascots will unfold at Boise High School.

After nearly a century as the “Braves,” Boise High could soon be known as the “Brave,” Michael Lycklama of the Idaho Statesman reported Saturday. The name change could go into effect as early as the upcoming school year, although it could take three to five years to change out team uniforms and signs at the school.

“Schools, much like other public institutions and places of learning, evolve and change over time,” school Principal Robb Thompson told Lycklama. “We don’t teach the same curriculum in 2019-20 that we taught in 1921. Our understanding of the world is much different than it was 100 years ago, and the needs of our students are much different than it was 100 years ago.”

Trustees will likely discuss the proposal at their Aug. 12 meeting.

The Boise proposal has already drawn some backlash — including a “Save the Boise Braves” Facebook page, which evidently went live only hours after the Statesman published its story.

“The Braves are a respectful and honoring mascot to the many native peoples who originally inhabited the Boise Valley,” the group says in an online petition. “We are proud to be Boise Braves.”

Teton mascot update

As Boise officials begin discussing a possible mascot change, the discord over a change in Teton County continues to fester.

Teton trustees voted July 16 to drop the high school’s Redskins mascot after 90 years. And when trustees met last week to discuss what to do next, they got another earful. Critics submitted petitions urging the school board to reverse course and reinstate the Redskins mascot, Jeannette Boner of the Teton Valley News reported.

After the meeting, state Rep. Chad Christensen took to Facebook to rip the district for voting to change mascots without a plan for paying the $30,000 cost. District officials have said they will not use taxpayer dollars for the change.

Christensen — an Ammon Republican who represents Teton County — also suggested trustees “nearly” broke the state’s open meeting law by threatening to cut off public comment. “I have to sit in committee for hours at times, because of the open meeting law,” Christensen wrote.

The open meeting law requires public agencies to conduct business in open session, but it doesn’t require agencies to take public comments.

“Teton School District #401 stands by its compliance with the Open Meeting Law,” the district wrote Monday. “We welcome a review.”




Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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