Clipped From The Minneapolis Star
Burnsville Braves may fall amid charges of stereotypes By DAVID PETERSON Minneapolis Star Staff Writer The Burnsville Brave may be going the way of the Mankato State Indian out the window. , A committee has been set up In the Burnsville school " district to study whether the senior high athletic ' teams should continue to be called the "Braves." The district's faculty advisory council thinks the name has derogatory connotations. Council members think it stereotypes Indians as painted fighters on the warpath and implies that only men are athletes. , The issue is reminiscent of a controversy last fall in Mankato in which the state university's sports nickname nickname was switched to "Mavericks" from "Indians.' Marianne Reynolds, chairman of the BurnsviUe faculty faculty council, said she was aware of the Mankato issue but was more inspired by federal legislation emphasizing emphasizing equal treatment for minority-group minority-group minority-group members and women. The name and the picture of a warrior that goes with it appear "racist and sexist," she said. Ms. Reynolds brought the issue before the council in September, and a committee looked Into it. The full council then recommended bringing the issue before the school board. THAT WAS DONE last week, and the school board agreed to set up another committee of senior high staff members, coaches, students, parents and admin- admin- istrators to further examine the issue. Administrators warn that it's not quite as simple as merely changing the name. Supt. Robert Tschirki said he's "sure it would involve substantial cost" to change the name on such things as athletic uniforms. The use of the brave is "meant to honor, not to degrade or connote some negative attitude," Tschirki said. School tradition should also be considered, he said: "Maybe that can be exaggerated, but it's certainly certainly there and a major consideration." Coincidentally, a brief controversy arose in neighboring neighboring Bloomington over the same issue this fall. When Bloomington's Jefferson High School hosted Burnsville for homecoming, the slogan was "Burn the Braves." The Bloomington Human Rights Commission told school officials it objected to the implied stereotype. A special faculty meeting was held at Jefferson to discuss discuss the issue, it was discussed in each home room, the student representative on the commission read an announcement about it over the school's public address address system and Burnsville adminstrators were notified. notified. "I think it sensitized the whole school community to the fact that even in homecoming slogans it's important important to consider all aspects," said Bloomington school spokesman Donald Heinzman.