Lawmaker seeks to clamp down on school mascot changes

The fight over Teton High School’s “Redskins” mascot could spill over to the Statehouse, if one Eastern Idaho lawmaker has his way.

Rep. Chad Christensen is floating the idea of a bill that would require school boards to get voter approval to change a mascot. Jennette Boner of the Teton Valley News reported on the idea Wednesday.

Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon

“There is an agenda to destroy local heritage, so longtime residents no longer have an identity and so generational traditions become extinct,” Christensen, R-Ammon, wrote on his Facebook page. “I would like this authority to remain local, but require a vote amongst the citizens.”

It’s not clear whether Christensen will actually present a bill. The idea appears on his Facebook post under the heading of “possible legislation I may bring.”

In July, Teton trustees voted 4-1 to drop the “Redskins” mascot, which had been in place for 90 years. Christensen’s legislative district includes Teton County, and he has argued against changing the mascot.

In August, Boise School District trustees voted unanimously to change Boise High School’s mascot from “Braves” to “Brave.”

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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