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Shorewood grad claims losing Thunderbird logo due to mascot bill a ‘slap in the face’

People march to TCF Bank Stadium in 2020. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

A recent Shorewood High School graduate was surprised to learn that Shorewood’s mascot — the Thunderbirds — may be in jeopardy as a result of House Bill 1356 in the state Legislature, which prohibits the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots.

“So the Thunderbirds, unfortunately, have been determined by the state Legislature to be based on a Native American mascot, I guess,” Alison told the Dori Monson Show. “As the bill stands right now, unfortunately, we are a part of it. And the bill is very black and white. It says everything must go if this bill is passed.”

In her email to the show, she pointed out that the logo for the Thunderbirds is just a bird with a thunderbolt through it. Dori asked: “How did the state Legislature determine that that is somehow an offensive Native American mascot?”

“Well, it was actually written in that we borrowed it without consulting any tribes. It’s actually written in a Shoreline historical book. So it is actually true that we borrowed it without any tribes,” she responded. “But according to the state Legislature, if it falls under their guidelines, it’s got to go.”

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Alison says the school has long been a part of her family, and she doesn’t think it’s right for that to be erased because of the bill.

“I don’t think it’s right. My mom, my sister, and my aunts, my uncles and cousins were all Shorewood alum, and I have a younger sister going there now, and the Shorewood Thunderbirds have been in my family since I was born” she said. “And so to have that be taken away, it really felt like a slap in the face when we found out yesterday that this has been happening since January and nobody knew about it in Shoreline.”

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“There’s 35 other high schools who this is happening to, and we unfortunately are one of the 35.”

Dori asked if Alison thinks that anybody is truly offended by her school having Thunderbirds as a mascot.

“I feel like there could be people out there. We’ve reached out to a few Native American Shorewood alumni who have actually expressed their pride and have been a Thunderbird, that they weren’t offended but actually honored that that was our mascot and that was our logo,” she added.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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