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Teton High School ditches "Redskins" mascot

Teton High School Changes Mascot

DRIGGS, Idaho - A local high school is now without a mascot.

The superintendent of the Teton School District decided Monday night that Teton High School will no longer be recognized as the "Redskins."

The word refers to Native Americans, and Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme said in order to teach the students about respect, the mascot had to go.

Some folks like Richard Berry, Teton's wrestling coach, are not so thrilled about the name change.

Berry has been teaching at the school for 30 years. He wants to be known as nothing but a Redskin.

"It's just been part of our tradition and we've always kind of had a lot of pride in the Redskins title," Berry said.

Berry passed his pride onto his students, including Woolstenhulme.

"I'm proud of the community and my heritage to the school district and to the community," Woolstenhulme said. "I respect the heritage behind that mascot."

Although there are some people who feel that his decision to ditch the mascot disrespects a tradition dating back to 1910, Woolstenhume said it's more important to teach the students a different kind of respect.

"I'm not aware of other high school mascots called the 'Whiteskins,' for example, to refer to other demographic groups," Woolstenhulme said. "I don't feel like the nickname 'Redskins' is appropriate or respectful for Native Americans."

It will cost just under $100,000 to change the signs and buy new athletic uniforms. Woolstenhulme said he's worked the vast majority of that into existing budgets, to be phased in over the next few years.

Athletic coaches said they'll just have to make do with the change.

"I'm gonna try," Berry said. "I have nothing to do but try now that the decision's been made, but you know, it's going to be something that's very difficult for me to do."

The principal of Teton High says he's not sure how he'll pick a new mascot, but he wants the community to get involved.

A "Save the Redskins" group has started on Facebook. 

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