The Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 Board of Education took action for the recommendations made by the Mascot Committee. The Board did not take actions for changing the name or image of the Manhattan Indians, but only the recommendations made by the committee.
The first recommendation is the creation of the Frank Prentup commons area with an exhibit on Prentup which will give insight as to why they are the Manhattan Indians. The commons will be located at the school’s west campus. Board member Marcia Rozell motioned Superintendent Marvin Wade and Assistant Superintendent Eric Reid along with the Facilities and Growth Committee to create the commons. The exhibit would have also included information about local area Native American tribes, but since Prentup was not part of an area tribe, the board decided to have the exhibit about Prentup.
The second recommendation is to set up a student scholarship and/or grant from the Manhattan-Ogden School Foundation. The scholarship/grant will be in the name of Prentup as well. Wade will be working with the foundation and committee to help set the guidelines for the scholarship/grant. Board member Aaron Estabrook motioned this recommendation.
The third recommendation is to direct Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Lacee Sell to include local Native American history, religion culture, and contemporary issues in curricular and professional learning considerations in the district. Board member David Colburn said the focus on Native Americans in the curriculum is because no other ethnic group that occupied this land prior to European arrival and that the land was taken away.
“This gives the community and our schools a unique responsibility to acknowledge the history of this land,” said Colburn, ” our society needs better a understanding of our history with minority groups in this country, but there is no ethnic group in this country whose land was taken away in the way Native American land was taken and that sets it apart for me.”
The fourth recommendation is to direct Wade to create a district diversity committee to assist and advise efforts of diversity awareness, educational equity, and reduction of racial, ethnic and economic prejudices.
The final recommendation is to direct Manhattan High School to assist the student council to identify a mascot that is not human nor a person, the student council will take recommendations from the student body voted on by the student body, distinct from the Indian name and image, respectful and inclusive for all students, and un-gendered or neutral default. Student Council President and Senior Lily Colburn was able to speak with the board and made assurances the student council will have a decision by the requested date. This decision will be made by December 1st of this year. Also this recommendation will only change the mascot character, not the image for the high school. The Manhattan Indian name will not change.
All recommendations were passed by the board unanimously.