- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - School officials have determined a Portland high school’s mascot the Quaker to be inappropriate and must be changed.

The Portland school board Tuesday decided the mascot of Franklin High School is an offensive appropriation of a religious faith, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .

The board directed staff to propose a process later this month to change the mascot name and set a June 2019 deadline for the change to occur.

The board’s decision stems from an effort by a pair of parents calling for the name change.

Lisa Zuniga told the board that in 2014 in she met fellow Franklin parent Mia Pisano, who is a member of the Quaker faith. They argued that the mascot name violated the separation of church and state and the district should not commandeer a religious symbol or connotation. Their effort led to a complaint being filed in 2015.



The complaint was not about an individual being offended by the name; it was about the treatment of a faith, Pisano told the board.

Pisano noted the name of the religion is printed on the school’s floor where people thoughtlessly walk over it. “No religion belongs on a cafeteria floor,” Pisano said.

Board Chair Julia Brim-Edwards thanked the parents for keeping their effort going.

“This is really a tribute to citizen activism,” Brim-Edwards said. “Tradition doesn’t trump doing the right thing, and it’s time for a new chapter in southeast Portland.”

The board approved a new naming policy last month in response to the complaint, allowing discriminatory school names and mascots to be changed. The policy also prohibits names that have religious affiliations.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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