The Roseburg Public Schools Board of Education would like to thank everyone who participated in thoughtful conversations about the Roseburg High School mascot over the past several months. While our April 28 vote did not result in a decision to retire the mascot at this time, we appreciate the opportunity to hold these discussions and hear from a wide range of individuals.
Members of our community view this issue through different lenses, some primarily focused on the cultural and racial implications of the mascot and others focused on established traditions that they firmly believe are based on honor and respect. Throughout this process, we have witnessed how these conversations have helped people better understand one another, consider alternative viewpoints and shift perspectives. These issues are not easy for any community to address, but that does not mean we should ignore them or those who rally for change on behalf of marginalized groups. We must always view and conduct ourselves as learners, setting a positive example for our community’s youth.
Earlier in the school year, we voted to incorporate the naming of school mascots into our policy that addressed the naming of school sites and buildings. Prior to that, a process for the naming or renaming of mascots did not exist. Requiring a unanimous vote by the board on such matters helps ensure these decisions are not made lightly, that they are examined in depth, and that a decision to move forward is unified. It will be the School Board’s decision alone on whether this topic comes up for vote again in the future.
We may not have been unified as a Board on this particular decision, but please know that we remain unified in our desire to listen to and represent our community. We hope that this process has helped move our community closer to a place of open dialogue and respect for one another’s differences. Concerns about racism and inequality deserve the utmost consideration and attention. Our policies that prohibit discrimination of any kind remain vital to our district’s dedication to provide safe and inclusive learning environments. The Roseburg Public Schools Strategic Plan, which the Board adopted as its own, centers around providing equitable experiences for all students. Rest assured that this Board will continue its commitment to serve all of our students with this goal in mind. We appreciate your continued support and understanding.