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.”
SM North is excited to announce that the new mascot is the BISON! Work will now begin on new logos and branding which will be released as they are finalized.
— SM North HS (@SM_NORTH_HS) May 4, 2021
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.
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:
Today my high school, Shawnee Mission North, announced its new mascot, the Bison (formerly the Indians). It took 99 years and a tireless effort from a great group of alumni and students to finally change it. #ChangeTheMascot
— Kate Stewart (@KatieVenae) May 4, 2021
So proud of my high school and all the students and alum who demanded a change. No longer the Indians. Now the Bison! https://t.co/Ii8or7SOOF
— Washington Post TikTok Guy 🕺🏼 (@davejorgenson) May 4, 2021
it’s great to be an SMN Bison! https://t.co/qBgpYxgCLb
— Jordan Warren (@jordanmechele) May 5, 2021
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.