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
Judge says groups can sue to keep Arctic, Atlantic drill ban
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's reversal of a ban on petroleum drilling in most of the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic underwater canyons can move forward.
Mackey undecided on re-election to school board, but leaning toward another run
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The seat now held by Emil Mackey on the Juneau School Board will be on the local election ballot in October.
Sitka police finds two suspects in shooting case
Sitka, Alaska (KINY) Police said two females sought in connection with a shooting Sunday were found in Sitka late Monday.
Perryville man murdered
Perryville, Alaska (KINY) A 70 year old was allegedly killed by his grandson Sunday, Alaska State Troopers said.
Former teacher sentenced for possession child pornography
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A former rural Alaska school teacher has been sentenced to four years in prison for possessing child pornography.
USS Juneau remains located
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has announced the wreckage of the USS Juneau was located in the South Pacific.
Commercial rocket launch planned
Kodiak, Alaska (KINY) The Pacific Spaceport complex will launch its first commercial space flight between April 6-13.
Woman survives plunge into Gastineau Channel
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A woman was rescued from Gastineau Channel Sunday night.
Measure asks feds to respect Alaska-approved pot businesses
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska House is asking the federal government not to interfere in state-authorized marijuana businesses.
PFD applications projected to decline again this year
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The deadline for Alaskans to file for the 2018 Permanent Fund Dividend is at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.
Three Assembly Committee meetings on tap Monday
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Assembly Committee of the Whole will take up the lease of the Hurlock property vacated recently by Juneau Youth Services during its meeting Monday evening.
Ketchikan woman dies of injuries suffered in vehicle crash
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — A Ketchikan woman died in a one-car crash along the North Tongass Highway.