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Eliminating the Native American mascot logo from Fresno High’s stationery, signs, uniforms, floors, a theater curtain, and more could cost $400,000, according to a Fresno Unified staff report.

The report said that dollar figure is “preliminary.”

But Bullard Area Trustee Terry Slatic said the reported estimate is significantly lower than estimates he previously heard being discussed in administration offices that put the cost to replace the mascot logo much higher — $1.1 million.

Slatic told GV Wire℠ on Monday that he is reminded of other “preliminary” estimates, such as Boston’s “Big Dig” project, that wound up costing taxpayers billions of dollars more.

Slatic cast the lone no vote when the School Board voted 6-1 in December to keep the mascot name Warrior but to replace the cartoon image of a Native American man with another logo.

Logo Under Fire

The board’s vote was the culmination of a community campaign to recognize the negative impact that the logo has had on indigenous peoples, including Fresno High students.

At the time, the board also discussed other schools in the district that have Native American-themed mascots and logos.

According to the staff report by Chief Operating Officer Karin Temple, the Fresno High mascot logo is on athletic uniforms, band uniforms and the band trailer, the Warrior Park stone monument, building floors and entry carpets, the gym floor and scoreboards, signage at sports facilities and parking areas, the Royce Hall theater curtain header, interior and exterior banners, and the school marquee at Palm and McKinley avenues.

Funds to pay for the logo replacement will come from the district’s general fund, which is used for a multitude of district expenses that include salaries and facilities needs, Slatic said.

He said he considers it noteworthy that no trustee asked about the potential costs of changing the logo before the vote was taken in December.

Commitment to Change

Board president Valerie Davis said Monday she had not read Temple’s report on the preliminary cost estimate. When told that it’s $400,000, her response was “wow!”

But Davis said she and other trustees knew there would be a financial cost when voting to change the mascot logo, so if the estimate is $400,000, “that’s what it costs.”

District staff did not respond Monday morning to questions from GV Wire℠ about the costs of changing logos at other schools and whether town meetings will be scheduled; the funding source to pay for the logo changes; and the apparent discrepancy in district estimates to change Fresno High’s mascot logo.

Meanwhile, Fresno High officials are in the process of deciding on a new logo.

11 Responses

  1. Billy

    This is willful mismanagement of public education funds. If taxpayers and parents aren’t protesting misuse of their tax dollars they have themselves to blame for the poor academic performances of FUSD.

    Reply
  2. Joe Barron

    The politically neutered albino Kai-ju [Slatic] speaks. There was a notion that there was going to be an investment of financial capital for this change. So, gvwire is going to imply that addressing a social injustice is not prudent because the cost- benefit is not revenue neutral?

    Reply
  3. MICHAEL PISTORESI

    Those who pressed this issue and those on the School Board who voted for it should concentrate on better educating students rather than worrying about this foolishness. What’s next? Changing school team names because PETA is suing for defaming wolverines, coyotes, panthers and wolves? You people have gone nuts.

    Reply
    • Ron Sherrin

      Slatic is a local embarrassment. If $400,000 can be found to change the logo, and it should be found then $500,000 can be found to restore the Airways pool complex to its former glory. What a shame no investment has come forward to make this happen, and the pool just rots.

      Reply
      • Jon Targasian

        Airways isn’t part of Fresno unified and doesn’t have anything to do with Fresno Unified Funding…you’d need to take airways up with the city which is an entirely separate entity.

  4. Cecilia

    It’s unfortunate and a disservice to students and the community that the change was done with out data and rushed during a pandemic. No poll of the teachers , alumni or students. No response from principal Linda Laettner as to who is on the “committee” to choose the new image – which is not a cartoon. And most importantly, FUSD and Principal Laettner chose to not engage with NAGA- Native American Guardians Association- about why 90% of Native Americans do not want the images replaced. There was an opportunity to have FHS certified as a Native American center of excellence by NAGA and it was also ignored.

    Reply
    • Stephen Beshwate

      Excellent point, this type of over stepping needs to stop !! When do the people get a say on where their tax money is being spent besides at the ballot box.

      Reply
      • Terry Schneider

        How about the few idiots that want this change, pay for it! How about putting the change with the estimated cost to change on a public voting ballot! I will guarantee that the citizens of FRESNO would vote no for this change! How about all those people that drive keep Cherokees? Since we are getting rid of history, how about the Rough Riders. That would be Roosevelt! People need to respect history and the people that are affected by these ridiculous ideas! I am a FRESNO High Warrior graduate over 60 years ago!

  5. LORI

    As a Native American alumni of FHS, I find this decision to remove the Warrior mascot disturbing and offensive. It feels to me as something racially driven and done with complete disdain & disrespect toward the entire Native American community. There was no research or studies done, no communication with any Native American tribal members or organizations, no request for commentary or input from the community or the FHS alumni. It was all done undercover during the pandemic. This secretive methodology suggests FUSD and FHS principal Linda Laettner have a hidden agenda. Is the removal of the Warrior mascot really what they should be focused on right now? Is allotting $400,000 or more on this despicable act of racism where they should be spending their money? What about the students? What’s in their best interest? Considering their low test scores & national ranking, it would seem the most important thing on their minds and their top priority should be helping the students. This Covid pandemic has wreaked havoc on our children and the progression of their education. Education is essential! Spending $400,000 on a senseless, needless mascot removal is an absolute outrage and misuse of taxpayers money. It’s time for FUSD & Linda Laettner to get their priorities straight. DO THE RIGHT THING; this isn’t about you & your personal agenda. Allow for the stakeholders referendum to discuss the Warrior mascot in an open and truthful manner & reconsider your priorities for what’s in the best interest of your students & how to best utilize funding.

    Reply
  6. Patty

    I think you should be proud of the display of the Indian. I would be. They respected them enough to put on a school.

    Reply

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