How about the SM North Bison? School’s long-time Indians mascot officially replaced

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Shawnee Mission North is now the home of the Bison.

After a group of SM North alumni started a petition in July 2020 to drop the long-time Indian mascot, Shawnee Mission’s oldest high school has a new mascot. The announcement was made via the school’s Twitter account on Tuesday:

“SM North is excited to announce that the new mascot is the BISON,” the tweet reads. “Work will now begin on new logos and branding which will be released as they are finalized.”

After the board of education approved a new policy in January barring mascots deemed derogatory or offensive, SM North students, administrators, alumni and other community members went through a months-long process to determine a new mascot.

That process included surveys, nominations and voting. Besides Bison, the final choices included the Buffaloes and an option for ‘no mascot.’

Coyotes was also initially named as a finalist but was ultimately eliminated before the final decision was made.

Community reaction

Shawnee Mission found the school’s Indian mascot to be non-compliant with its new mascot policy.

The policy states no mascot can be offensive to a person or group of people.

Besides SM North, three elementary schools in the district — all with mascots referencing Native Americans — are also going through the process of changing their mascots.

Although some expressed disapproval of the mascot following the school’s announcement, a number of community members said that they’re happy with the change.

That includes Washington Post TikTok producer Dave Jorgenson, who took to Twitter Tuesday along with others to congratulate his alma mater:

The school’s Indians mascot will officially be retired by June, according to a timeline previously laid out by school officials.

SM North will be the Bison starting during the 2021-22 school year.

About the author

Juliana Garcia
Juliana Garcia

👋 Hi! I’m Juliana Garcia, and I cover Prairie Village and northeast Johnson County for the Johnson County Post.

I grew up in Roeland Park and graduated from Shawnee Mission North before going on to the University of Kansas, where I wrote for the University Daily Kansan and earned my bachelor’s degree in  journalism. Prior to joining the Post in 2019, I worked as an intern at the Kansas City Business Journal.