Kitzhaber threatens to veto Indian mascots bill

SALEM, Ore. (AP) Gov. John Kitzhaber is threatening to veto a bill that would allow some Oregon schools to keep American Indian mascots, nicknames and logos.

The measure would reverse a decision by the Board of Education to outlaw Native American mascots beginning in 2017. Schools would be able to keep them if they reach a written agreement with the nearest Indian tribe.

Kitzhaber issued his veto threat in a letter last week to legislative leaders. He says he would support a more narrow exemption similar to one in college athletics.

Critics of Native American mascots say they reinforce stereotypes and promote hostility. Supporters say they're a source of pride.

The measure passed the House on Friday. It goes back to the Senate, which has already approved it but must agree to changes made in the House.