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Native Schools in S.D. Drop Nickname Referring to Little People

MCLAUGHLIN, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota school district on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is abandoning its nickname and mascot because it is offensive to little people. equalvoice_logo

The midget has been the mascot of McLaughlin School District since 1929, but the board voted to drop it during the week of Sept. 21, the American News in Aberdeen reported.

School board president Juliana White Bull-Taken Alive said the nonprofit group Little People of America recently reached out to the district asking for the change.

She said there was little opposition and that amending the nickname and mascot has been talked about for years. Students are in charge of creating a new mascot and nickname.

“Our uniforms do not include midgets. We don’t have to replace a lot of things because the students have already taken that step on their own,” White Bull-Taken Alive said. “The board just needed to make it official.”

On its website, Little People of America says midget is “a word that many people of short stature consider a slur and a word closely associated with the public objectification of people of short stature.”

Grassroots advocates in the Native American community have been asking the Redskins professional football team to change its name, saying that it is offensive. In June, students in public schools in Madison, Wisconsin succeeded in getting district officials to ban logos that are deemed offense to American Indians.


Equal Voice News contributed to this report.


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