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Shawnee Mission district ditches Braves, Indians mascots

By The Associated Press

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A large Kansas City area school district is ditching the Braves and Indians mascots that four of its schools use. 

The board for the Shawnee Mission district, which is the state's third-largest with about 27,000 students, voted 7-0 Monday to make a change that requires mascots to be culturally and racially sensitive and appropriate.

The board then decided that the mascots at Shawnee Mission North High School and Belinder, Shawanoe, Ruston elementary schools violated that policy and will need to be replaced. 

Calls for such changes have grown more insistent across the country in recent years. And thousands signed an online petition last year urging the district to drop the Indian mascot at Shawnee Mission North. 

Kate Raglow, co-chair of the Roeland Park Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee, spoke in favor of the policy change, saying "ethnicities are not mascots," KSHB-TV reports.

"They are communities with rich and diverse histories to be celebrated, not made into characters to be used as logos," she said.

Emmit Monslow, however, urged the district against making the change. 

"There is a difference between Indian imagery and the Ku Klux Klan," Monslow said. "And you are treating these images as the same as the swastika."