Red Lodge High changes Redskins mascot to Rams

Billings, Montana (AP) May 2011

Red Lodge High School has changed its mascot after many criticized the old one – the Redskins – as a derogatory term referring to Native Americans.

The Billings Gazette reports school officials announced during a pep rally that after a series of votes, students chose to be the Rams.

The Red Lodge School District board of trustees voted unanimously in February to change the mascot, a topic that has been sensitive and at times explosive in the small southern Montana town.

The school had the Redskins as its mascot for more than 50 years, but as the community grew and cultural mores changed, more and more residents and students became uncomfortable with that identity. Still, some alumni and longtime residents argued the mascot was part of the town’s tradition and identity.