|Posted:||October 6, 2022 02:50 PM|
|From:||Representative Christopher M. Rabb|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing Grants to Assist Schools Committed to Updating Mascots, Logos, School and Team Names|
|Many public schools and sports teams across Pennsylvania use or refer to indigenous culture in their mascots and logos.
Decades of social science research have shown how derogatory mascots have a serious negative psychological and social impact on those with an indigenous heritage. In fact, it is well established that mascots, logos and the like that stereotype or fetishize indigenous peoples highly correlate to the alarmingly high suicide rate among Native youth. At its core, the use of Native American mascots is a denial of the personhood of Native peoples, which has real consequences.
My forthcoming legislation provides for financial resources for schools to discontinue their use of Native American mascots. This legislation would provide grants to schools that have a Native American mascot and voluntarily discontinue their use of the mascot. Schools would be able to use the grant funds to offset the costs associated with discontinuing their Native American mascot, such as the cost to purchase, design, or renovate school equipment to remove the mascot.
For far too long, indigenous peoples have faced discrimination, disrespect, and violence. We must not remain complicit in the perpetuation of these harmful practices which encourage bullying and other forms of abuse. Therefore, encouraging schools to eliminate their use of offensive stereotypes for school mascots is the least we can do to begin mending the damage done by the appalling historical oppression of Native peoples.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to recognize the personhood and dignity of indigenous peoples.
Introduced as HB2880