Pocatello-Chubbuck seeks input on high school mascot replacement

The Pocatello-Chubbuck School Board is seeking input on replacing Pocatello High School’s Indians mascot.

An online survey lets patrons pick their top choice out of five possible replacements, the district announced Wednesday.

Pocatello-Chubbuck is slated to drop the school’s Indians mascot in June — a decision that followed trustees’ determination that it was offensive to American Indians.

Possible replacements include:

  • Bison
  • Phantoms
  • Thunder, with a bison mascot
  • Thunder,  with thunder mascot
  • Mountain Lions

Survey participants can “evaluate each of the five finalists and recommend one based on that evaluation,” the district said.

Evaluation criteria include the new mascot’s ability to:

  • Promote pride and school spirit by being uplifting and promoting positivity for everyone associated with the school.
  • Work equally well with girls and boys athletics.
  • Be distinct among Idaho high schools.
  • Continue to honor school heritage and history in a distinguished manner.
  • Emulate positive characteristics that can be reflected in our students and staff.
  • Generate excitement through sounds and actions which could be used at events.

The survey may be completed online or in-person at the district’s education center, 3115 Pole Line Road, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Shoshone-Bannock tribes last year asked Idaho schools to get rid of all American Indian mascots. Some districts have met the request. Teton dropped its controversial and longstanding Redskins mascot in July 2019. Boise trustees changed Boise High School’s “Braves” mascot to “Brave” a month later.

American Indian-themed mascots still in place include:

  • Buhl High School (Indians).
  • Preston High School (Indians).
  • Salmon High School (Savages).
  • Salmon River High School (Savages).
  • Shoshone High School (Indians).
Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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