'Scalp the Indians' homecoming float disassembled; Coweta Public Schools issues apology

Posted at 10:07 AM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 18:34:09-04

COWETA, Okla. - Coweta Public Schools has apologized for a homecoming float that many parents and residents found offensive.

Photos of the float depicting a dead Native American and the words "Scalp the Indians" surfaced on social media Thursday night.

“People are way more sensitive to this stuff now than they were 20 years ago. I think kids just need to realize that they've got to be careful in what they do, because there's probably going to be someone that's going to be offended,” said Neisha Kelley, a Native American and parent of a Catoosa student.

The float is part of Coweta's homecoming festivities as they take on the Catoosa Indians Friday night at 7 p.m.

It's hard for Coweta Superintendent Jeff Holmes not to take the message personal himself.

In a letter to parents and supporters of the district, Superintendent Jeff Holmes said, "I offer my sincere apology to all who were offended and want to assure you we will use this situation to educate our students regarding the importance of respecting all cultures."

He later told 2 Works for You, “It's wrong ... doesn't matter what my heritage is. It still makes it wrong for our students.”

Holmes also said the offensive float has been disassembled.

Local Native American leaders also weighed in on the issues.

“I’m glad to see him do this. He said he’s going to take this as an opportunity to teach his students about what mascots represent and what it means for Native Americans and showing respect for other cultures,” said Tulsa Indian Coalition Against Racism President Louis Gray.

Cowed Public Schools has not commented whether any disciplinary action occurred as a result of the float.

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