Like most students, Eaton High School senior Karalee Kothe had never thought about her school’s mascot — the Fightin’ Reds — really deeply.
Then last year, she heard about state lawmakers who were pushing a bill that would have created a committee to review the use of potentially offensive Indian mascots. If the committee – or a tribe – found one to be offensive and the school still had the mascot after two years, it would face a fine of $25,000 a month.
The bill didn’t pass, but it got Kothe thinking.
“I was like, ‘hey what about our mascot’?” said Kothe, who’s also the editor of the Red Ink, the newspaper for the school located just north of Greeley.
The Eaton mascot is plastered in the middle of the gym floor, on the walls, on students’ uniforms. It’s a cartoon-like caricature of a Native American.
“He’s in an aggressive stance, so it’s just not very realistic and many would say it’s not very honorable for Native Americans,” said junior Devan McKenney.
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