Waxahachie ISD

Alumni Launch Petition to Change ‘Offensive Native American Theming' in Waxahachie ISD

Two Waxahachie High School graduates are calling on the school district to change its "Indian" theme

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You've probably heard the NFL team in Washington is retiring its logo and name now widely viewed as a racial slur.

Now, the move is renewing claims closer to home about a school mascot some say is offensive.

From a giant muffler man statue painted to resemble a Native American man, to a school restaurant called The Reservation, to an official school color called “Indian" green, Nathan Navarrette and Analeigh Flores say the list of ways Waxahachie ISD misuses Native American culture goes on and on.

“We essentially believe the socialization of the culture and sort of the superficial way of going about it is definitely implanted in kindergarten all the way to graduation,” Navarrette said.

Navarette and Flores are Waxahachie ISD alumni.

Last week, when Washington announced plans to change its team name, the college roommates launched a petition to bring awareness of what they call "offensive native American theming" throughout the Waxahachie school district.

“I think it’s just giving them a chance to kind of play Indian and that's not something anyone wants to see, I personally don't want to see it and I know a lot of Native people don't want to see it,” Flores said.

The issue has come up before.

Several years ago, a district spokesperson said Native Americans in the community were consulted and believed the mascot should not be changed, “and our community agreed,” a statement read.

“Waxahachie's history is deeply rooted in the Native American culture, which is why many years ago, the school district's mascot was chosen to honor that culture,” the spokesperson said.

Navarrette and Flores said they don't want the theme to disappear but believe it needs to change when a culture becomes a character.

“Native people have been saying for years that they are not a mascot,” Flores said.

The use of the mascot and emblem is reviewed every five years, according to the district spokesperson, and is approved through 2023.

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