The South Bend School District is looking into changing the name of their school mascot.
According to Superintendent Jon Tienhaara, the South Bend School School Board formed a committee to conduct a process for selecting a new school team name and mascot.
This action follows the passage of SHB 1356 that prohibits Washington schools from using Native American names, symbols, and images as school mascots, logos, or team names.
Being the “Indians”, South Bend High School is required to change its team name under this new law.
The bill goes into effect on July 25, 2021 and requires all schools to be in compliance by January 2022.
The committee consists of school staff, community members, alumni, tribal members, and students.
At their first meeting held this week, the committee identified several possible team names with the additional option of a “write-in” choice.
South Bend students will now have the opportunity to give their input before the school year ends and the South Bend community will have the opportunity to provide input in the coming weeks.
Once input from students and the community is collected, a recommendation will be made to the board of directors.
According to Tienhaara, the goal is to select a new team name prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.
Information on how the community can provide input will be forthcoming.