Timeline set for changing mascot

Yuma School District-1 is projecting it will cost approximately $400,000 to change from the current “Indians” mascot.
A timeline for making the switch to a new mascot was approved by the Yuma-1 Board of Education during its regular meeting, Monday night at the district office.

Senate Bill 21-116 was passed by the Colorado Legislature this past spring, requiring all schools to eliminate Native American-themed mascots by June of 2022, or face a monthly fine of $25,000.
Several community members testified against the bill at the state capital, expounding on Yuma’s pride in the mascot, as well as the significant cost of making the switch.
Superintendent Dianna Chrisman said Monday night she was extremely proud of the community in its efforts.
However, the switch is going to have to be done, and Chrisman said the district now has more-solid figures, with the cost likely approaching $400,000 when all is said and done.
First is engaging the community in coming up with a new mascot. The district will solicit suggestions until September 15. The submission form is now available at yumaschools.org. One can return their submission to the office at 418 S. Main, or via the email address listed on the form. The submission form also can be found inside this edition of the Pioneer on page 4.
The board of education will review the submitted suggestions at its September 20 meeting, narrow the list and then get more public feedback on the finalists through October 13.
A new mascot will be selected at the November meeting. That will be followed by logo development, which will need to be completed by January so the district can begin preparing to order new uniforms for the fall sports.
There are all sorts of things that need to be changed besides uniforms, such as monuments outside of schools, paintings inside of schools, chairs, the track hurdles, letterheads, some cushions on the gym walls, and the gymnasium floors.
Chrisman said it will be difficult to get all of it done by the June 1 deadline, particularly the gym floors, but the students will not be in school then, and that type of work will begin as soon as possible next May.
Activities Director Michael Dischner told the board he does not enjoy these conversations, and it is particularly tough for Yuma alumni. However, he said it was time to get moving forward and it is important a mascot is selected that reflects the community.