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Complaint asks Oregon to ban gender-specific mascots

April 9, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A complaint submitted to the Oregon Department of Education has asked that the state implement policies to ban gender-specific mascots, monikers and team names at public schools.

The Register-Guard reports that a Eugene resident filed a formal complaint alleging that the Eugene School District’s use of the “Axemen” team name violated Title IX and school policies. The article notes that the district voted in February to change its mascot name from “Axemen” to “Axe,” and school officials planned to implement the changes over time. Its school colors and logo were to remain the same.

Included in the new complaint was a request that the department of education consider a statewide ban.

From the Register-Guard:

The ODE complaint, filed Jan. 3, is “pending” at the state education department, meaning that ODE staff are investigating the claims. A spokeswoman with the agency said Thursday that additional information regarding the investigation would not be available until the investigation has concluded.

The complainant, whose name has been redacted from the document, alleges in the complaint that the Axemen name encouraged a sexist culture and asks that ODE “add language to their policies to prevent Oregon schools from using current or future symbols of gender discrimination.”

School districts across the nation have faced pressure to change their team nicknames, especially those related to Native Americans. The protests have produced mixed results with some districts changing and others resisting.

In 2012, Oregon’s Board of Education adopted a measure prohibiting public schools from using Native American nicknames unless they reach a mutual agreement with local tribes. There is no such rule related to gender-specific names.

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