Nevada bans racist mascots and “sunset sirens”

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Football players practice in the modernized weight room at Western High School on Monday, June 10, 2013. Chaparral and Western High School football programs have received $ 500,000 donations to upgrade everything from weight room with field equipment and new uniforms.

CARSON CITY – Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday signed a bill ordering local school boards to ban “racially discriminatory” mascots, logos and names as part of a nationwide movement to phase out the use of symbols that Native Americans have long considered offensive.

The bill, which was passed by the Legislature last month, could affect up to 20 schools in Clark County, including Western High School, where the mascot is a Native American wearing a headdress. It will not apply to universities or schools that have agreements with local tribes like Elko High School, which in 1994 obtained permission from the Elko Band Council of the Te-Moak Tribe of the Shoshone Indians. of the West to use “Indians” as a mascot.

It also demands that the Nevada State Board of Geographic Names recommend that the federal government rename all geographic features and places with offensive names. The measure will also force cities to stop sounding sirens before sunset. The practice is rooted in historic Native American “sunset ordinances” that required non-whites to leave half an hour after a siren sounded in the evening. Northern Nevada towns like Minden in Douglas County continue to sound sirens decades after the ordinances were repealed.

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