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School board votes to keep name Wellpinit Redskins

School board votes to keep Wellpinit Redskins

WELLPINIT, Wash. - While the U.S. Patent Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registrations, there's another organization in Washington state that's decided to stand firm that their sports teams will remain the Redskins -- the Wellpinit High School Redskins to be exact, whose school is located in the town of the same name on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Stevens County.

Wednesday night the school board got together and decided, despite a push to get the mascot changed at the high school, they won't be pursuing a re-branding from the Redskins.

"To me it's a proud name and any school that uses Redskins as their mascot makes me feel proud," Wellpinit resident Celia Stearns said.

"I don't think it is a word of pride. It was used derogatorily years ago when it was the wild wild west," Wellpinit resident Gene Lynn countered.

Those who have lived in Wellpinit, for decades say the mascot has been a part of the community since 1907.

James Williams, a school board member for the last eight years and current vice chairman of the board, said a majority of those he talks to don't want to see it changed.

"It's something they have been brought up with all their life, and you know I don't think they look at it being very derogatory," he said.

Williams added the term has been the focus of a few meetings and they've decided it needs to stay.

"We decided last night that we weren't going to change it. Talking to a lot of community members, the majority of the community don't want it changed," Williams said, adding there is too much pride in being a mighty Redskin that he wouldn't want to be one to take that away.

"I think it would be more demeaning to them if we made them change it, in fact I wouldn't want to be on the board if we tried to make them change the name Redskins."

So, for now, the Wellpinit Redskins will remain the only school in Washington still using that name.