A New Nevada Law Bans Racial Mascots In Schools : NPR

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak requires schools to change names, logos, mascots, songs, or identifiers that are racially discriminatory. Scott Sonner / AP hide caption

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Scott Sonner / AP

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak requires schools to change names, logos, mascots, songs, or identifiers that are racially discriminatory.

Scott Sonner / AP

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak met with members of the Nevada Indian Commission in Carson City on Friday when he was signing a law removing racially discriminatory identifiers or language from schools. Additionally, counties can no longer sound “sunset sirens,” which once meant that it was time for certain people to leave the city.

The law requires schools to change names, logos, mascots, songs, or identifiers that are “racially discriminatory” or “associated with the Confederate States of America or a nationally recognized Indian tribe”.

Under Assembly Act 88, Exceptions can only be made with tribal permission. The law applies to public schools and deeds, universities, and community colleges.

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The signing on Friday took place in Stewart Indian School, which served as the state Native American school for 90 years. Children were forced to participate, ripped from their families and homes in order to integrate them into American culture, said the National Park Service Service.

The American West was not kind to its original people. But another part of AB 88 aims to improve on part of Nevada’s troubled past. Not so long ago, some western communities had policies that required people of color to leave the city at nightfall. Member station KUNR previously reported. They became known as “sunset cities”.

An evening siren was once considered a signal for Native Americans to leave the city

Minden, a town with 3,000 inhabitants, is south of Carson City. Every evening at 6 p.m. sharp, a siren sounds over the valley. And while city officials say the sirens are sounding for maintenance reasons, some residents say the siren is attributed to a racially charged past.

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In the early 1900s, Minden – and the rest of Douglas County – required Native Americans to leave the city by 6:30 p.m. with instructions to leave within 30 minutes.

However, beginning Friday, Nevada will prohibit unincorporated counties, cities, and towns from sounding a siren, bell, or alarm “at a time that the siren, bell, or alarm was previously sounding on specified days or times in conjunction with an ordinance became the city that required people of a certain race, ethnicity, origin, national origin, or skin color to leave the city at a specific time, “the law says.

The new law goes one step further, which could lead to the renaming of all racially discriminatory travel destinations in Nevada. The state will receive and evaluate “all proposals to change or supplement the names of geographical features and places in the state”. A list of consultants with knowledge and expertise in Nevada would assist in making official recommendations on each proposal.

Renaming mascots and locations, as well as banning certain sirens, is a point of contention in Nevada. From 88 the State Assembly passed 36-6. But it barely blessed the Senate, with 12 members in favor, 8 against and one excused.

Jack

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