Oklahoma School for the Deaf replaces Indian mascot

Oklahoma School for the Deaf has chosen the Bison to replace Indians as the official school mascot, effective immediately.

SULPHUR – Oklahoma School for the Deaf has chosen the Bison to replace Indians as the official school mascot, effective immediately.

Several Cherokee County residents attend OSD, a division of Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services. OSD proposed the change to the Commission for Rehabilitation Services, which unanimously voted to approve July 12.

School administrators revisited previous discussions about changing the mascot this year. They sought input from alumni and staff who generally favored the change to demonstrate respect for Native American culture and tribal sovereignty.

OSD alumni circulated a survey this summer to help choose the new mascot. The bison was the overwhelming winner, with 67 percent of the vote.

A committee representing OSD students, staff, coaches and alumni is already meeting to develop ideas for the new school logo design and related images. School leaders intend for the new mascot to represent diverse backgrounds and cultural heritage.

OSD is also committed to honoring their tradition by preserving the history of the previous school mascot at OSD’s Betty S. Fine Museum on the Sulphur campus.

Fine, who was deaf, retired from OSD after serving generations of students as a teacher aide for physical education classes and strong supporter of OSD athletics. She died in July 2018 after working at OSD for 49 years.

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