(SAVANNAH, Mo.) After a 4-3 vote to change the “Savages” mascot and move away from the use of Native American persons, imagery, and symbolism, the Savannah R-3 Board of Education is creating plans for the phasing out process.
“What we decided at our last board meeting is just one chapter of our community and we made it clear that we are not white-washing or eradicating and we’re preserving as much history as we can,” Newly-elected board president Joe Barbosa said.
During a work session on Monday night, the board clarified their intentions with this outline:
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