Lamar School District Offers New Logo/Mascot to Indian Affairs Commission



The Lamar School Board was given five minutes to make its presentation for a new logo and mascot for the high school before the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs this past Friday, April 15th.  Superintendent Dr. Chad Krug made the best use of that time span, outlining the board’s efforts since May 21, 2021, to come into compliance with SB21-116, mandating a statewide alteration of mascots the Commission deemed offensive to Native Americans in Colorado.  The zoom meeting was one of several the Commission held last Friday, facilitated by Colorado Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera.

Dr. Krug’s opening statement included the efforts to make the changes through a community effort, stating, “Over the course of the past nine months we have engaged in a comprehensive effort to empower our community in the process of changing our mascot.  Our work was done locally, using a diverse committee which represented our stakeholders to the best extent possible.  Collectively we have listened to dozens of testimonies, poured over hundreds of intimate details and have modeled what can be accomplished when we engage professionally and operate collaboratively.”

The Commission was taken through the board’s timeline from the formation of a logo committee in July to maintaining community transparency on the selection process using local media as well as in-person meetings and monthly school board meetings.

He went on, “We got it.  Our community got it. We didn’t want to disrespect anyone and so we got rid of our old imagery and have successfully delivered our new imagery to our community consistent with our timeline.”

Through computer links, the board displayed the revision efforts which are now underway, eliminating the Savage mascot logo from school busses, the concession stand and the entrance to the practice field.  They are awaiting word from the Commission on how well the alternative, a graphic image of a charging buffalo with the logo, “Savage Thunder” will be accepted.

Several Commission members complimented Dr. Krug on the professional presentation, and several displayed reticence over keeping the term Savage, while one or two mentioned that the bison image played a role in Native American culture.  Another member asked how many Native Americans served on the logo committee.  Dr. Krug replied that the board was open to any application from the community, but no Native Americans had applied for consideration.  Approximately 1.8% of Prowers County residents identify as Native American.

Board members now have until May 19th  to learn of the CCIA vote to either remove Lamar from the list of high school’s using offensive signage in Colorado and allow the new logo and mascot to represent the district, or to inform the school board that their presentation is not acceptable.  In light of that possibility, the board members affirmed that Alex Halpern, the attorney who has been working with them, be contacted for the potential need to prepare to file an injunction with the state to halt the $25,000 monthly fine that will be imposed on the district in June.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarEducationFeaturedSchool


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