Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau School District’s Mascot Review Board voted 5 to 4 Saturday not to move forward with the Thunder Bears as the mascot’s name for the combined high school football team.
The board, comprised of members from the three high schools, elected to send the matter back to committee.
High school students voted for Thunder Bears over two other choices.
It became controversial when a definition of the name was found on the Urban Dictionary that is disparaging of native Americans.
School Board Vice President Josh Keaton called it an unfortunate situation while a guest on Action Line today (Monday). He added that the Urban Dictionary is not a proper source. "That's what it boils down to. Unfortunately, I think this is a learning lesson for students to take because you've taken a name that was slang. Nobody knew it. I didn't know it. You've given that name power and we'll be dealing with this as a racist term from now into the future."
Its still possible the Thunder Bears name could be considered again, according to Keaton. He can't predict what will come out of the committee process at this point but adds there might be another vote for Thunder Bears again.
In a vote by students, the Thunder Bears name was selected over Orcas Capital City Senators. The words Orca and Senator also earned derisive definitions in the Urban Dictionary.
More from News of the North
Fansler Pleas Guilty to Harassment Charge
Juneau, AK (KINY) - The results of the January case in which Rep Zach Fansler had hit a woman so hard that she suffered a ruptured ear drum have been finalized in the courts.
Ed Mercer speaks on a Dip in Crime Rates, Extra Support, and Being a Role-Model
Juneau, AK (KINY) - Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer spoke on less crime, efforts to hire new officers, and the fight against illegal drugs during a speech to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.
Etheridge talks about Senate campaign on Action Line
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Don Etheridge said on Action Line Thursday that he's ready for battle.
Brush fire intentionally set
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A juvenile will face charges after he admitted to setting a small fire Wednesday.
Mother and son drown
Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) An investigation is underway after the mother and son fell into the Matanuska River.
Children rescued off sinking boat
Sitka, Alaska (KINY) The US Coast Guard and volunteers helped rescue three adults and three children from a 27 foot cabin cruiser.
Brown bear sought for killing
Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Authorities said they believe the same bear attacked and killed a hiker and then attacked and injured someone looking for him.
House Bill 331 Signed into Law by Walker, State to be Sued on Constitutionality
Juneau, AK (KINY) - Governor Walker has signed House Bill 331 into law, which is a bill aiming to pay off the remaining debt that the State of Alaska incurred under the defunct cashable tax credit program. However, the bill will be facing scrutiny in the courts.
Power Outage in Juneau, Issue Isolated
Juneau, AK (KINY) - Power outages affected multiple parts of the Juneau borough, but power should be quickly restored to those affected.
Commission on Sustainablilty looking for Next Steps for Electric Vehicles
Juneau, AK (KINY) - The Juneau Commission on Sustainability took a look at the findings of Juneau's history thus far with electric vehicles and posed questions on where the city should go next.
Juneau's crime rate declines in 1st quarter of year according to preliminary figures
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Some preliminary figures indicate Juneau's crime rate has dropped by about one-fifth.
Strawn gets 90 years in prison
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The sentencing hearing this morning was highlighted by testimony by the victim's father and Tiffany Johnson, one of the victims.