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Lawsuit Threatened Against Oregon's New American Indian Mascot Law

Oregon has passed a law to allow school districts to enter into agreements with American Indian tribes to use American Indian mascots and names. But the law is already being threatened by possible litigiation: "Sam Sachs, a racial-justice activist who also is a Portland Human Rights Commissioner, said the state Board of Education is obligated to create a safe environment for all Oregon children to learn free of discrimination and bullying. 'But this new law does not get there,' Sachs said of the bill, which will allow a district school board to enter into an approved written agreement with federally recognized American Indian tribes in Oregon to use a mascot that represents, is associated with, or is significant to the tribe," the Statesman Journal reports.

Oregon Authorizes American Indian Mascot Bill

Oregon has passed a bill that would allow school districts to receive the permission of American Indian tribes to use school mascots "that represent or are significant to the tribes," the Portland Tribune reports. The Oregon State Board of Education voted to prohibit public schools from using American Indian names, symbols or images as school mascots after July 1, 2017, the Tribune also reports.

The governor previously vetoed similar legislation because "he believed it created an overly broad exception to the State Board of Education’s decision to ban Native-themed mascots," the Tribune further reports. The legislation was changed to require that the board approves agreements reached between school districts and tribes.

President Obama Suggests Name Change for Washington Redskins

After the tizzy caused by President Obama's suggestion that law schools should be two years, not three years, for full-time students, what will come of the president's suggestion that the Washington Redskins football team should perhaps get a less controversial moniker? Obama made that suggestion in an interview with the Associated Press, The Washington Post reports.

There has been long-running litigation by several American Indian groups or individual American Indian plaintiffs to challenge the registered trademarks that the Washington Redskins hold as disparaging and racist to American Indians. National Public Radio reported on that litigation this spring:

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