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Redskins mascot not going away for now

DRIGGS, Idaho - Teton High School's Redskins mascot won't be changed in the immediate future, the Teton School District superintendent said Thursday.

Monte R. Woolstenhulme had said Monday night that Teton High School will no longer be recognized as the Redskins. The word refers to Native Americans, and Woolstenhulme had said in order to teach the students about respect, the mascot had to go.

But in an email to the media Thursday, Woolstenhulme said the mascot wouldn't immediately change.

"As this week has progressed I've taken feedback from many people that are passionate about this issue, those that agree with the decision and those that strongly disagree with changing the Redskin mascot at Teton High School," he said. "I appreciate people taking the time to share their opinions."

Woolstenhulme said the decision came after talking to School Board Chair Doug Petersen.

He said no funds will be spent at this time to change the the mascot. No Redskins signs or logos will be removed.

The price tag for replacing all athletic uniforms for teams and to replace signs with the mascot name over a five- to eight-year period is $100,000. Those funds would be from existing budgets, not funds that could go toward paying district employees, Woolstenhulme said.

Although the mascot is not changing immediately, the matter is not closed. It will be open to public discussion at a July 8 school board meeting at the Teton High School Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Woolstenhulme said the district is reaching out to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes at the Fort Hall Reservation for feedback.

Teton High School has been known as the Redskins since 1910.

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