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Savannah mascot committee's vote ends in 4-4 tie, presents findings to school board

After months of deliberation and research the Savannah R-III Mascot committee presented findings to the school board Monday night.

Posted: Mar 22, 2021 8:20 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2021 9:15 AM

(Savannah, Mo.) After months of deliberation and research the Savannah R-III Mascot committee presented findings to the school board Monday night.

Committee member chair Randy Roth presented that the final vote to change or keep the mascot ended in a 4-4 tie. The group discussed potential compromises to present to the board, but also believe that the current mascot is the school board's decision.

Committee members presented information regarding the "Savages" mascot and Native American imagery origins, cost analysis , mascot usage and best practice.

The findings presented to the board explained that committee members were not able to locate documentation that provided a clear picture as to the origin of the mascot.

As for costs to change the name and logo, committee members found that will cost approximately $500,000 to replace all of the likeness around the school district.

Committee members tried to reach out to other school district officials around the country that have went through a similar process, but only one school superintendent, out of seven, responded and talked about their experiences. Members were able to talk with Native American organizations to find more information about the best use of the name and imagery.

A few recommendations presented included changing the imagery, but keeping the name "Savage". Instead of spending $500,000 all at once to change the name and imagery, the change could be gradual and the committee members also recommended the enhancement of current Native American curriculum.

The school board will meet in April for the next meeting and during that time, board members will discuss the future of the mascot.

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