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E. Idaho school slows move to drop Redskins mascot

Published June 14, 2013 1:31 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Driggs, Idaho • The top administrator at an eastern Idaho high school is standing behind his decision to drop the school's Redskins nickname, but for now is putting on hold plans to swap out team uniforms and remove logos and signs.

Teton County School District 401 Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme announced his decision to drop the nickname earlier this week after getting support from the school board.

Woolstenhulme said he wanted to show respect for American Indians, teach students to look beyond skin color, and respond to efforts nationwide to change names with tribal references.

But the decision has generated public outcry and criticism in and beyond the resort town of Driggs, prompting Woolstenhulme to schedule a public forum next month and consult with local tribal leaders.

"The decision is made, but we are taking time to listen to [patrons] before we implement the decision," Woolstenhulme said. "I knew there would be passionate response to this, but not this large, this much or this fast."

School officials say they have received comments from more than 100 people this week, some in favor and some opposed.

At least one critic created a Facebook page called "Save the Redskins" that had more than 1,230 members from around the country as of Friday. Foes also launched an online petition on Change.org to keep the Redskins mascot.