Houston school board bans ‘Warriors,’ ‘Rebels,’ ‘Indians’ as mascot names

Houston school board bans ‘Warriors,’ ‘Rebels,’ ‘Indians’ as mascot names

It seems political correctness now rules Houston schools.  On Thursday, the Houston School Board voted 7-0 to ban certain words as mascot names for school sports teams, claiming they are “offensive or culturally insensitive,” The Blaze reported.

Four names, “Rebels,” “Indians,” “Warriors” and “Redskins” will no longer be allowed starting in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Blaze said four schools will be affected: The Lamar High School Redskins, the Hamilton Middle School Indians, the Westbury High School Rebels, and the Welch Middle School Warriors.  Those schools are now required to submit names deemed politically-correct to the school board.

School Superintendent Terry Grier proposed the ban last month in a column he wrote for the Houston Chronicle.

Grier said in his op-ed that “the place for Redskins patches or pennants, or for Confederate symbols, is no longer on the uniforms of our teams and cheer squads. They can be displayed in cases on campuses and explained in history books.”

“Traditions are important. But respect for cultural difference and sensitivities matters more,” he said.

Grier targeted the four schools by name, saying they must “become a part of HISD’s history.”

“Our goal in HISD is not to obliterate all vestiges of traditional figures that were once widely embraced,” he claimed.  But that, in effect, is exactly what he’s done.  And it’s not the first time.

The Daily Caller observed that Grier “pulled exactly the same stunt at his old job in a school district in North Carolina.”

“In fact, I was superintendent of Guilford County schools in Greensboro, N.C., in 2002, when North Carolina’s State Board of Education asked districts to review their continued use of Native American mascots. Over many emotional months, we worked through an inclusive process that eventually removed Native American mascots from our schools in a sensitive way and enacted a thoughtful policy that defined what was appropriate to name or depict any campus organization or team,” Grier wrote.

The Daily Caller also noted that the Chronicle claimed the change puts Houston’s schools in line with other school districts that have banned the mascots, but failed to name a single school district.

Grier, KUHF said, was not present when the decision was made and trustees made no comment when they voted on the ban.

Joe Koch, a 1968 graduate of Lamar High School, wasn’t happy with the decision.

“I’m very disappointed. I’ll be a Redskin the rest of myself. The family is,” he said.  “They’re just flat nicknames. They’re not meant to hurt these people who are taking offense of it.”

Others, like teenager Marah Melendez, held a different opinion.

“Because I want to change the history and for the future. Because I don’t want anyone else to be called Redskin anymore,” she said.

One person recommended the district rename itself the “Political Correctness Kowtowing School District” on HISD’s Facebook page.

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Joe Newby

Joe Newby

Joe Newby is an IT professional. He has written for Conservative Firing Line, Examiner, NewsBusters, and Spokane Faith and Values.

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