The Toledo soccer team breaches a sign held by the school’s cheerleaders after halfway through the season opener against Rainier, Washington, on February 15.
Just weeks after Kalama chose a new mascot, Toledo followed suit and became the Riverhawks on Thursday night following a decision by the school committee.
“After months of deliberation and careful consideration, the board of directors voted yesterday evening to rename the district,” said a post on Friday afternoon on the district’s Facebook page. “We’ll start immediately to become the Toledo Riverhawks.”
The school district is closed on Fridays during the summer and school officials have not been available for comment.
Toledo schools seek mascot exception due to partnership with the Cowlitz tribe, location
The change comes after House Bill 1356 came into force at the previous session. It prohibits public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots, logos, or team names until 2022. There are a few exceptions. For example, the ban would not apply to public schools located in or partially on tribal reservations as long as the use is approved by the tribe.
Support local journalism
Your membership enables our reporting.
The Toledo School District was looking for an exception to a new mascot law to keep its Native American mascot due to the work it did with the Cowlitz tribe and the school’s location on ancestral land, but the attorney general declined it is up to provide an opinion to the Toledo School District as to whether the exemption was valid or not.
The district then decided to move forward with a new mascot. Superintendent Chris Rust previously said the district wanted to make the election before the deadline so that it could use the money provided by law to offset the cost of the renaming.