Tulare high school taking stand against state law that is forcing them to change mascot name

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Tulare Union High School is taking their last stand against the new state law that prohibits them from using the Redskin name and mascot. (KFSN)

Tulare Union High School is taking their last stand against the new state law that prohibits them from using the Redskin name and mascot.

It's the end of an era, and even though students and staff feel their name is being taken away from them, they said their school traditions and pride won't change.

Lunchtime at Tulare Union High School is when seniors get their class shirts. Which is far from just another piece of cotton that will be forgotten about. These T-shirts are meant to last for years. With years of history woven into the fabric, and a strong message for anyone who takes a closer look. "They can take our mascot, but they will never take our pride," the shirt says.

Debra Tapley, Tulare Union English teacher, said, "Romantically it's the end of an era, and I have always been a very proud redskin. For all these years as a student, as a teacher, but I understand the consequences, and I see the need to move on with what's happening in society today."

Assembly bill 30 requires public schools in California, including two others in the Central Valley, to drop the use of the word Redskins as a team name or mascot by January 2017.

"We don't like it but we will deal with it, and our traditions and the pride that we have for Tulare Union will always remain," said Tom Kellogg, Tulare Union English teacher.

Tulare Union's principal has previously said that removing the name will cost the school district three-quarters of a million dollars. The school will be given more time to phase out things such as athletic uniforms. Uniforms senior MC Mello has now worn for four years.

"It's always there, almost on your heart when your play. So you basically play with Redskin heart, and just not being able to feel that or see that anymore on your jersey, it's going to be kind of sad. Cause you're not a Redskin anymore, somebody took that away from you," said Mello.

They couldn't keep the jerseys, but they could make T-shirts, for seniors, and alumni. They've already filled 500 orders for Tulare Union graduates, shipping them to places like lake Tahoe-- even Texas.

"I know a shirt's not really a big deal, but it is to us because it shows how much people care about the Redskin pride," said Mello.

The time is coming to change-- everyone here knows that.

The school website has a survey for a new name but right now, they're Redskins, and proud of it.

To vote for the new name, click here.
Related Topics:
educationtulare countytularehigh schoollawsTulare
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