KELLER, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A controversial mascot will be the topic of discussion at the Keller ISD school board meeting Monday night, March 29.
Opponents of the Keller High School Indians mascot say they hope it means the beginning of the end of their five-year fight for change.READ MORE: 'I'm Afraid We're Going To See A Surge Of Violence' Says Texas Criminologist Following Recent Mass Shootings
It’s a fight that gathered momentum thanks to a PBS documentary earlier this year called, “Changing a Racist Mascot” – and featuring Keller ISD.
Opponents say change is long overdue.
“It may not be easy to make that change, but as we’ve seen from Atlanta and other hate crimes and just blatant racism, words matter, and symbols matter,” said Keller ISD resident Wendel Withrow.
Withrow will voice his opinion at Monday night’s school board meeting, where he says the topic is at last on the agenda.
He’ll be joined by Indigenous rights activist Yolanda Blue Horse.READ MORE: Texas Grand Jury To Consider Charges In Shooting Death Of Protester Garrett Foster Last Summer
“They’re not either accepting or not wanting to acknowledge that it is wrong,” said Blue Horse. “Native Americans, Indigenous People, we are the only people that are turned into mascots, turned into characters.”
Supporters say the mascot honors Native Americans.
The nearly 35,000 people who have signed a petition for the mascot to change disagree.
While a vote is not expected Monday, Blue Horse said she’s cautiously optimistic that it will happen soon – for the sake of the students.
“These are our future leaders. Do you want them to grow up thinking that it is okay to make fun of another race, to turn them into cartoon characters or our mascots? It’s not. It really isn’t.”
The board meeting starts at 6:30 pm.MORE NEWS: As Pandemic Restrictions Ease, Child Abuse Reports Rise In North Texas
Keller ISD declined to comment on the matter.