As expected, the Carpinteria school board voted to keep the Native American mascot images on the Carpinteria High School campus. With the exception of two items – a sports patch showing an Indian face and floor mats with Indian head profiles – all the Indian-theme icons will remain as murals, tile art, sculpture, and emblems. * The 3-to-2 vote came down after three hours of public testimony and deliberations. Board Chair Terry Hickey Banks and trustees Alex Pulido and Lou Panizzon want to keep the images despite protests from Native American activists that they are offensive stereotyped depictions. Trustees Beverly Grant and Leslie Deardorff wanted the images removed entirely and a different kind of mascot adopted. * The outcome was good news to Carpinteria community members who defended the mascot icons as harmless sports symbols that honored the spirit of American Indian warriors in U.S. history. For their part, the Native American contingent and supporters declared victory as at least two images will be removed. They vowed to continue their fight. Stay tuned to KCSB for a radio news story on this subject.
–Cathy Murillo