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Native American panel set to discuss Teton High School’s mascot

The mascot that represented Teton High School for generations is in the spotlight once again after being called racially insensitive. A panel of native American speakers will discuss the issue in a public meeting Wednesday night.

For decades, Teton high school has been known as the Redskins, but after years of debate, the issue has resurfaced.

“It’s a derogatory slur,” public affairs manager for Shoshone Bannock Tribes Randy’L Teton said. “What was considered okay back in the thirties is not okay today.”

Randy’L will be speaking on tonight’s panel. Although it has been a heated debate in year’s past, she hopes tonight will be more about educating the public.

“This panel I’ll be attending is not to cause any war or negative feelings, it’s more about educating the community members from our perspective,” Teton said.

There are eight Idaho schools that are deemed to have derogatory mascots. The Teton High School redskins mascot is considered among the worst.

“The use to being referred to as a redskin or a savage or a squaw definitely is not that we as Indian people use as a term for each other at all,” Teton said.

For the high school sharing the name of her family, Teton feels deeply connected to this issue.

“It is something that takes more of a personal connection and is an issue with me and my family. So that is an area we hold very close, so that area has a direct tie to my family,” Teton said.

Wednesday night she and panel members hope to bring a new understanding to the community.

“We hope to communicate with members of the Teton and Driggs area. I just hope I can change some minds tonight.”

The Teton District School Board will vote on the Mascot’s fate this July. Wednesday’s meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Teton High School’s auditorium. Panel members are encouraging the public to attend and be a part of the discussion.

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