Vallejo Removes Controversial “Apache” High School Mascot

Vallejo City Unified School District trustees on Wednesday unanimously voted to scrap a controversial mascot at the Northern California city's main high school.

Vallejo High School's mascot, the Apache, has long been a source of tension between people who believe the name honors the Apache and those who feel it is offensive to American Indians.

"It's demeaning, it's dehumanizing and it's time to go," said Melissa Mendoza, a parent at the district.

Board members are scheduled to discuss the next steps and possible options for a new mascot at their next meeting. Trustees will also seek community and student input to help select a new mascot.

MORE: School Mascot Under Fire, Vallejo to Reconsider "Apache"

Mildred Wagner, who serves as a secretary for the Intertribal Council of Solano County, said she has been troubled for years by Vallejo High's mascot. She is among those pushing the district to change it.

"We have native students that go to the school and we've heard they're embarrassed about the whole thing," Wagner said. "They're scared to say they're Native American because they'll be ridiculed and teased."

But Timothy Banks, who runs the Vallejo Community Access Station and films many of the school's game, said he's never seen or heard anything disrespectful regarding the name Apache.

"It's a little over the top," he said. "I don't think it's a legitimate complaint."

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