September 16, 2020
Last night, during an hours-long school board meeting, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 Board voted to retire the Pocatello High School Indians mascot at the end of the school year.
The vote followed public comments from students, teachers, parents, past graduates, and members of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes. In addition, Board members were said to have received, “hundreds” of emails on the topic. Speakers were fairly evenly divided both for and against the change, including tribal members.
Although the vote to be taken was whether or not to change the name of the mascot, many speakers chose to address school assemblies and rallies, which, some said, caused them to feel embarrassed and mocked by performances at these events.
While the meeting topic was referred to as controversial, and watching the meeting it was obvious that the issue was very emotional for many on both sides, all those speaking at the meeting were respectful and voiced their positions very articulately.
Ultimately, the Board voted to retire the Indians mascot on June 1, 2021, so as to give the students the ability to finish the year with the mascot in place along with the opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to come up with a new mascot.
To watch the meeting, click on the video link, below.