School Mascot Meeting Cancelled



The Lamar Re-2 School Board had been planning since this past July, for a meeting with the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, hoping for direction on maintaining the name for the Savages at the Lamar High School.  Superintendent Chad Krug said the board had learned at the literal last minute the Commission cancelled the November 9th meeting, due in part, to the lawsuit being brought by the Native Americans Guardians Association.  The Association is seeking to overturn Senate Bill 21-116 which mandates name and mascot logos of Native American tribes which are considered detrimental by the Commission be discontinued at Colorado schools or face a fine by the June, 2022 deadline.

“It’s doubtful now, we’ll get the direction we had hoped for,” Krug explained, adding that the next Commission meeting is December 9th.  “That bill was a small part of their agenda, but we wanted to see what they felt would be the best path to the district changing the image, but maintaining the name.”  He said the district has until June 1st of next year to start making changes, but as was mentioned in the July meeting, the board doesn’t want to make costly logo changes that may not be of any help.  A committee will begin to meet in mid-January to address this situation and look for suggestions for a new logo.  “Our main goal is to have the school’s name removed from the list of non-compliance and avoid a $25,000 monthly penalty.”

The school district is facing another challenge, this time, a shortage of substitute teachers.  Krug explained that absences are a normal fact of life, but the pandemic has heightened the need for sufficient backup when members of the teaching staff feel the best overall choice is to stay home rather than just buckle down and work through an illness.  “People are more cautious and the district has to revisit how we get our subs.  We may have to relax some expectations for substitutes,” he explained.  Right now, a person needs 60 credit hours of college study towards an Associates Degree for consideration as a substitute teacher.  Krug said this is a stop gap measure at the moment, but there is a pressing need for a larger pool of candidates who can fill in during a teacher absence.  There’s usually a demand of up to five substitutes on any given day in the district.  The board has called for a special meeting for Monday, November 15th, to address the situation.

The district is not alone in dealing with supply chain shortages.  The situation is not critical throughout the schools, but Krug explained that the board wants to be more pro-active in maintaining sufficient supplies and food for meals.  “We ran into a brief shortage for milk a while ago and we substituted with juice and water and we’re finding that to be a bit tight as well.  We use a central kitchen which lets us keep on top of the situation.  We’re not going to start hoarding materials, but we’re working to anticipate future needs in light of the national situation.”

The school board also plans to begin positioning the district for the impact legalized sales of marijuana will mean to area students, following the November General Election outcome.  “We’re going to be pro-active on this front, too,” Krug said.  “We’re positioned to do what we do as educators… work with kids, but we are going to be reaching out to parent groups for their support and partnership.”

Krug said the board wants to focus on behavioral consequences and determine the conditions of what we want to accomplish with a combination of health and information to keep the students on a path to success.  “If we do catch kids using drugs, the community does have resources for habilitation and we want to stress the importance of learning how to alter a behavior or choice that’s beneficial.

During the November 8th board meeting, an election of officers was held to mark the departure of two board members who submitted their resignations, Nancy Winsor after 12 years of service and four years for Rod Dunn.  They are replaced by Cody Laughlin and Jerrod Grice whose terms will expire in 2025.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: CollegeCOVID-19EducationFeaturedSchool


About the Author: