A recent editorial, "It's time to consider some changes on symbols that can divide us," (AC-T, April 30), incorrectly characterizes the action the State Board of Education is considering regarding the use of Indian sport mascots and logos. The editorial states that the Board "is strongly recommending that North Carolina public schools do away with their Indian sports mascots." The State Advisory Council on Indian Education recommended to the Board that we "... encourage the public schools of North Carolina to educate themselves on the educational, curricular, and psychological effects of using sports mascots and logos." The Council further recommended that the Board encourage local boards and public schools to "review their policies and procedures toward the use of Indian mascots, logos and all demeaning imagery." The Council, in its advisory capacity, did not recommend that the State Board require public schools to "do away" with Indian mascots, as your editorial stated. Nor is that action one that the State Board is considering. The Board is considering requesting local boards and publics to study this issue and determine the impact in the local community. That is what the State Board will vote on at its June 6 meeting. Thank you for allowing me to clarify this issue.
Phil Kirk is chairman of the State Board of Education.
Editor's note:According to The Associated Press (April 28) the state Advisory Council on Indian Education, not the state Board of Education, drafted a resolution asking schools to drop such mascots, calling them "offensive, demeaning and disrespectful to American Indians.''
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