ROSEBURG, Ore. – Those in support of changing the Roseburg High School mascot say the fight isn’t over yet, despite the school board voting against the change Wednesday night.
Five out of six board members voted in support of retiring the mascot. Charles Lee was the only member who voted no, blocking the motion from passing.
According to district policy, the district cannot change the name of any mascot unless the vote is unanimous.
Jessica Bascom, a Roseburg High School alumnus and the person who has been leading the “Not Your Mascot” movement since last summer told KEZI 9 News that she was extremely disappointed.
She said she had confidence that the board was going to make the change based on the majority support it had.
“They are, in my opinion, allowing the school they represent to continue like this,” said Bascom. “They’ve acknowledged the harm but it still remains.”
KEZI 9 News reached out to Lee to find out why he voted against the name change, but he did not get back to us. However, at a work session two weeks ago, he said the mascot is an important part of the Roseburg community.
“The Roseburg Indian today is nothing more than a means of identification that are members of this Roseburg educational community," said Lee. “We don’t have offensive symbols, we don’t have offensive faces.”
However, Bascom said it’s not enough.
“I wish that he could separate his opinion from the reality of the harm that this mascot is doing,” she said.
Right now, the school board has no plans to discuss the mascot any futher. However, Bascom said she and her supporters are already brainstorming their next steps.
“I was really hoping to keep this at a local level, but you know the results from last night make it look like we may need to pursue change at a state or federal level,” she said.