SR3 Votes to “Phase Out” Native American Mascot
The Savannah R3 Board of Education made history when they voted to retire the school’s Native American mascot at their April 13th meeting. The exact motion states the district will do the following:
“retain the name Savannah Savages and phase out the use of any Native American person, imagery, or symbolism as a part of the SR3 logo and mascot beginning in the 2021-22 school year. Phasing out of the logo should happen as finances allow, including replacing uniforms, gym floors, etc. when the budget is scheduled to do so. No funds shall be used from the education, teacher, or maintenance budget/funds to replace imagery.
The Board will expand the current curriculum and course offerings to include Native American history, culture, genealogy, and current events and instruct the administration to develop a relationship with Native American groups for educational opportunities for the SR3 students to begin no later than the 2022-2023 school year. The Board will also instruct the administration to expand the district’s relationship with the Andrew County Museum and Historical Society as well as the Savannah Alumni Association/ Foundation to preserve and maintain school artifacts and history, including Savage memorabilia. The administration of each campus will preserve trophies, awards, artwork, class gifts, etc., to honor the success and contributions of students and staff as the administration deems fit. The history of these items should be preserved and not destroyed, but the new logo will be implemented whenever financially possible.”
In a work session Monday night, the Board further clarified their intentions by outlining the following:
The Savannah R3 Board of Education WILL
Begin phasing out the current Native American mascot with the beginning of the 2021-22 school year (July 1, 2021)
Stop using the current Native American mascot in any newly created apparel, documents, messaging, social media, advertisements, etc. beginning July 1, 2021
Replace equipment, uniforms, signage, etc. on the same replacement schedule that the current budget schedule allows
Expect all booster clubs, PTO’s, and other groups associated with the district to follow the same phase-out process for the current mascot effective July 1, 2021. New imagery for the 2021-22 school year should not include the Native American mascot or any Native American person, imagery, or symbolism
Expand Native American education
Preserve and maintain school artifacts and history, including Savage memorabilia depicting the Native American mascot. This includes but is not limited to class gifts, artwork, awards, and trophies.
The Savannah R3 Board of Education WILL NOT
Make changes to the current mascot before July 1, 2021. This includes but is not limited to current uniforms, print/digital media, websites, social media, etc.
Require students or staff to stop wearing clothing or apparel that displays the current mascot
The Board will begin taking suggestions for new logo imagery in the fall.