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Savannah R-3 Board of Education votes to keep 'Savages', change imagery

In a 4-3 decision Tuesday night, the Savannah R-3 Board of Education voted to keep the "Savages" name, but change the logo and phase out the use of Native American imagery.

Posted: Apr 13, 2021 10:12 PM
Updated: Apr 14, 2021 10:24 AM

(SAVANNAH, Mo.) In a 4-3 decision Tuesday night, the Savannah R-3 Board of Education voted to keep the "Savages" name, but change the logo and phase out the use of Native American imagery.

"This has been a long work in progress and the board has tried to be thorough in our evaluation," Board president Stancy Bond said.

During the meeting, a proposal to put the issue on the ballot was discussed but ultimately voted down.

This latest round of debate about the name and logo started last summer, leading to dueling petitions and a public forum.

The board's decision comes as a form of compromise and will work to preserve the history in the district, but also implement a new logo when it becomes financially possible.

The phase-out will start at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year and school board officials said money from education, salary, or maintenance budgets will not be used.

Other parts of the vote include "instructing the administration to expand the district's relationship with the Andrew County Museum and Historical Society, as well as the Savannah Alumni Association/Foundation to preserve and maintain school artifacts and history including Savage memorabilia... The history of these items should be preserved and not destroyed, but the new logo will be implemented whenever financially possible."

Another item included renaming the "Old Middle School" campus at Eighth and Chestnut to "Alumni Campus" to honor the contributions our district's alumni have made to the community, nation, and the world since the 1800s.

During the work of the mascot committee last month, committee members reported to the board that complete removal of all imagery will cost approximately $500,000.

As for the new mascot, board officials said they want the student body to play an active role, and also include the community in the discussion.

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