Marcola teacher voices concern over new logo

After nearly a century, the Marcola School Board unanimously approved changing the district's mascot from an Indian to a Mustang last year.

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 6:25 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 6:33 PM

MARCOLA, Ore. -- Although the Marcola School District changed their mascot from an Indian to a Mustang, the new logo is still receiving some backlash.

After nearly a century, the Marcola School Board unanimously approved changing the district's mascot last year.

But some in the community believe the new logo is still offensive. KEZI spoke with John Etheredge, a teacher at Marcola Elementary School who filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Education.

“We are now the mustangs,” Etheredge said. “But our Mustang logo has a lot of baggage with it. It is dressed up in war paint, feather beads, and even a mohawk style mane, and also an Indian style arrow has been incorporated inside the logo."

KEZI spoke with Bill Watkins, the superintendent with the district, who said the logo is educational and the symbols are used throughout the world.

"Arrows and feathers and beads are represented in a variety of cultures worldwide,” Watkins said. “For some reason, we think it's only Native Americans, and that's not true. So, this is a good opportunity for bringing our cultures together instead of dividing them up."

Watkins said they have already changed the high school's gym floor with the new logo, as well as sports uniforms. They are still working on removing any Indian imagery throughout the district. That comes at a total cost of more than $40,000.
Etheredge said he supports the Mustang as the new mascot but said more needs to be done by the district.

"It makes no sense to drop Marcola Indians in favor of Marcola Mustangs and then dress the mustang like an Indian,” Etheredge said. “That's one step forward and one step back."

Watkins said the district is happy with the new logo and doesn't plan on making any changes.

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