Locals react to veto threat from governor

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- After a bill allowing schools to keep their Native American mascots was threatened with a veto by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, some locals have spoken out.

Roseburg High School is a school that has a long tradition of having Native American mascots.

The images have really evolved over the years, from an Indian head to a feather.

Annie Lawson supports Roseburg High keeping it's mascot, saying it's a matter of pride. "Any mascot gives you strength," she said. "You're proud to carry that mascot name for your high school. We've always been the Indians."

In the past years, there has been a lot of debate over mascots.

The Oregon Senate followed the House and backed a bill that would allow schools to keep these mascots, nicknames and logos, despite Governor Kitzhaber's possible veto.

Senator Jeff Kruse says if the governor vetoes the bill, it won't mean progress for Oregon. "A veto of this bill would take things backwards, because quite simply, it would be a state agency telling the local folks how to do their business," Kruse said.

Kruse was a sponsor of the bill.

Critics say Native American mascots promote stereotypes, but supporters say they can be a source of pride.

Courtney Lawson, a Roseburg High student, said she doesn't want to see a change. "If we go in to our senior year not having a big mascot, it's not going to be fun. It's going to be a big loss."

Governor Kitzhaber has threatened to veto the bill, but there was enough support in both the House and Senate to override the governor's veto if lawmakers choose to do so.

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