School on Standing Rock votes to stop using 'midget' mascot

AP News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2015 1:30 PM

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.

The midget has been the mascot of McLaughlin School District since 1929, but the board voted to drop it this week, the American News in Aberdeen reported (http://bit.ly/1QAspFn).

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."

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This story has been corrected to show Juliana White Bull-Taken Alive is the school board president.