Washington State Legislature passes bill to ban Native American logos in schools

By Marianne Lincoln

For those of you who are attending, will attend or have attended Bethel High School in the past, the Bethel School Board may soon consider a new logo for the school at the mandate of state law.

House Bill 1356, now Substitute House Bill 1356 (SHB1356) has passed both houses and will be placed with the Governor for his signature sometime in the near future.

At Tuesday’s Board meeting (4-13-21) Superintendent Seigel stated they would not be addressing this change until after the end of the school year. There has been enough challenges for the time being. He also indicated the sports team coaches are working on new logo ideas.

It is a done deal at the legislature, but If you are interested in weighing in on the issue, you can write to the board or to the Superintendent:

Superintendent Thomas Seigel   tseigel@bethelsd.org
District 1, Marcus Young  myoung@bethelsd.org
District 2 John Manning  jmanning@bethelsd.org
District 3 Roseanna Camacho rcamacho@bethelsd.org
District 4 Cindy Henry-Young  Open seat
District 5 Brenda Rogers  brogers@bethelsd.org

The following is the current content of SHB1356:

SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1356

AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

Passed Legislature – 2021 Regular Session

State of Washington 67th Legislature 2021 Regular Session

By House Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Lekanoff, Dolan, Davis, Ramos, Fitzgibbon, Callan, Simmons, Lovick, Berg, Ormsby, Bateman, Bergquist, Goodman, Macri, Ramel, Harris-Talley, and

Pollet)

READ FIRST TIME 02/15/21.

1 AN ACT Relating to prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native

2 American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots, logos,

3 or team names; adding new sections to chapter 28A.320 RCW; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.

4

5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

6 NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. (1) The legislature finds that the use of

7 racially derogatory or discriminatory school mascots, logos, or team

8 names in public schools is antithetical to their mission of providing 9

 an equal education to all, and contrary to the goal of making schools

10 safe and respectful learning environments.

11 (2) The legislature finds also that certain mascots, logos, or

12 team names that are or have been used by schools and other entities

13 are uniquely discriminatory in singling out the Native American

14 community for derision and cultural appropriation.

15 (3) Although the inappropriate use of Native American names,

16 symbols, or images may be premised on the promotion of unity or

17 school spirit, their use fails to respect the cultural heritage of

18 Native Americans and promote productive relationships between

19 sovereign governments. Furthermore, numerous individuals and

20 organizations, including the United States commission on civil

21 rights, have concluded that the use of Native American images and

1 names in school sports is a barrier to equality and understanding,

2 and that all residents of the United States would benefit from the discontinuance of their use.

3

4 (4) The legislature therefore, recognizing that no school has a

5 cognizable interest in retaining a racially derogatory or

6 discriminatory school mascot, logo, or team name, intends to prohibit

7 the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images for those purposes.

8

9 NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 28A.320 RCW to read as follows:

10

11 (1) Except as provided otherwise by this section, beginning

12 January 1, 2022, public schools may not use Native American names,

13 symbols, or images as school mascots, logos, or team names.

14 (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to public

15 schools located within, or with enrollment boundaries that include a

16 portion of, “Indian country,” as defined in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1151, or

17 public schools in a county that contains all or part of a tribal

18 reservation or tribal trust lands, if the tribe or tribes having

19 regulatory jurisdiction over the territory within that boundary have:

20 (a) Been consulted by the appropriate school, district, or both.

21 Consultations under this subsection (2)(a) must include summaries of

22 completed and ongoing district and school actions required by RCW 28A.320.170; and

23

24 (b) Authorized the use of the name, symbol, or image as a mascot,

25 logo, or team name through an appropriate enactment or resolution.

26 (3) A public school may use uniforms or other materials after

27 January 1, 2022, bearing Native American names, symbols, or images as

28 mascots, logos, or team names if the uniforms or materials were purchased before January 1, 2022, and if:

29 30 (a) The school selects a new mascot, logo, or team name by

31 December 31, 2021, to take effect in the 2021-22 school year;

32 (b) Except as provided otherwise by this subsection (3)(b), the

33 school does not purchase or acquire any uniforms or materials that

34 include the discontinued Native American name, symbol, or image.

35 However, a school using the discontinued Native American name,

36 symbol, or image may, until January 1, 2023, purchase or acquire a

37 number of uniforms equal to up to twenty percent of the total number

38 of uniforms used by a team, band, or cheer squad at that school

1 during the 2021-22 school year solely to replace damaged or lost uniforms;

2

3 (c) The school does not purchase, create, or acquire any

4 yearbook, newspaper, program, or other similar material that includes

5 or bears the discontinued Native American name, symbol, or image; and

6 (d) The school does not purchase, construct, or acquire a

7 marquee, sign, or other new or replacement fixture that includes or

8 bears the discontinued Native American name, symbol, or image.

9 (4) A public school that does not meet the geographic

10 requirements in subsection (2) of this section is exempt from subsection (1) of this section if:

11

12 (a) The school is located in a county that is adjacent to a

13 county that contains all or part of a tribal reservation or tribal trust lands; and

14

15 (b) The tribe that is consulted with and determines to authorize

16 the use of the name, symbol, or image as a school mascot, logo, or

17 team name as provided in subsection (2) of this section is the nearest federally recognized Indian tribe.

18

19 NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 28A.320 RCW to read as follows:

20

21 (1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall

22 create a grant program to provide transitional support grants to

23 school districts to support schools that incur costs as a result of compliance with section 2 of this act.

24

25 (2) Costs eligible for use by grants provided under this section

26 are costs resulting from the replacement or redesign of items and

27 materials that display Native American names, symbols, or images, including, but not limited to:

28

 29 (a) Uniforms and equipment used by a team, band, cheer squad, or other extracurricular activity;

30

31 (b) School signage, including reader boards and score boards;

32 (c) Floor designs in gymnasiums or other flooring or surfaces;

33 (d) School letterhead and other office supplies;

34 (e) School spirit store supplies and items; and (f) School web pages.

35

36 (3) In administering grants under this section, the office of the

37 superintendent of public instruction is encouraged to incentivize

38 schools that use Native American names, symbols, or images as school

1 mascots, logos, or team names to select a new mascot, logo, or team name by September 1, 2021.

2 (4) This section expires August 31, 2023.

3

4 NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. If specific funding for the purposes of

5 section 3 of this act, referencing section 3 of this act by bill or

6 chapter number and section number, is not provided by June 30, 2021,

7 in the omnibus appropriations act, section 3 of this act is null and

8 void.

— END —

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