Prohibit American Indian Mascots
The act prohibits the use of American Indian mascots (mascots) by public schools, including charter and institute charter schools, and public institutions of higher education (public school) as of June 1, 2022. The act imposes a fine of $25,000 per month for each month that a public school continues to use a mascot after such date, payable to the state education fund.
The prohibition does not apply to:
- Any agreement that exists prior to June 30, 2021, between a federally recognized Indian tribe (tribe) and a public school, although the tribe has the right and ability to revoke the agreement at any time;
- Any public school that is operated by a tribe or with the approval of a tribe and existing within the boundaries of the tribe's reservation; and
- The ability of a tribe to create and maintain a relationship or agreement with a public school that fosters goodwill, emphasizes education and supports a curriculum that teaches American Indian history, and encourages a positive cultural exchange. Any such agreement may allow any mascot that is culturally affiliated with the tribe, as determined at the discretion of the tribe's governing body.
The Colorado commission of Indian affairs shall identify each public school in the state that is using an American Indian mascot and that does not meet the criteria for an exemption and post such information on the commission's website. In addition to posting such information on its website, the commission, in coordination with the department of education, shall notify the school district of a public school, and the charter school institute, identified by the commission of the requirements related to the use of American Indian mascots, as well as the penalty for continued used of such mascots.
The act allows those schools that are using American Indian mascots to apply for state financial assistance for public school capital construction grants.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)