Member of Native American parent advisory group speaks out about Hillsborough mascot decision

Hillsborough County
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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)  – Different opinions are surrounding the decision to change Native American mascots at six local schools, but Jaymie Perez says this decision is more than a year in the making. 

“Through the years what’s happened is a lot of people are taking aspects of our culture, our spirituality and changing it to something that it’s not,” said Jaymie Perez, a member of the Native American parent advisory group. 

Perez is one of the parents on the advisory committee who worked with Hillsborough County schools to get the six school mascots changed. She says they are starting with the elementary and middle schools, adding that there are ongoing negotiations with the high schools and changes have been made to those mascots. 

“Let’s start at the grass roots and go up because these little kids are the ones that are moving forward to be our future. They are going to be the next ones who don’t have the prejudices that some of the high school students have been engrained with to move on,” Perez added. 

The Native American parent advisory group is now looking to be invited into the schools and participate in different events where they can teach the students about the Native American culture. 

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